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Cuts leave local area with no new access to NHS dentists.

November 26, 2019 8:04 PM

Crisis as local pensioners and children left without access to NHS dentists

Residents across Arundel and South Downs are having to travel distances of over 15 miles to access an NHS Dentist, according to recent research, with pensioners, children and those reliant on social care across Arundel, Pulborough, Steyning, Hassocks and Storrington likely to be the most impacted, recent research indicates.

There are currently no NHS dentist spaces available within the boundaries of the Arundel and South Downs parliamentary constituency, meaning those who cannot afford private dentistry must travel as far afield as Hove, Haslemere or Havant to access treatment, distances ranging from 4.6 to 15.3 miles.

The research carried out by Alison Bennett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Arundel and South Downs in the upcoming General Election, highlighted a public health crisis. While she found local dentists keen to help people reliant on the NHS, they were hamstrung by funding cuts.

The Liberal Democrats have made a clear and fully costed financial commitment to improving funding within the NHS. Alison Bennett, said: "The Liberal Democrats plan to put an extra penny on income tax to fund NHS improvements; this is the honest way to go. I don't think people will mind the small tax increase if they know what they are getting for it and it will transform the current lack of provision under the Conservatives."

The survey of local dentist provision found of the 15 dental surgeries listed as offering NHS services, none were currently accepting adults for NHS treatment. One stated it could take children as NHS patients only if the parents registered as private patients.

The NHS website directs Arundel & South Downs residents to Hove, Haslemere, Horsham and Havant. Residents of Arundel have the longest journey to make with the expectation of travelling 16.8 miles to their nearest NHS dental practice in Hove.

Alison Bennett, said "On its website, the NHS says everyone should be able to access good-quality NHS dental services. Yet residents in Arundel & South Downs are being denied access to services within their communities and instead are being asked to travel to Hove, Horsham, Haslemere or Havant. This stretches the meaning of accessible, particularly for residents who do not drive, beyond any sensible definition. "

Alison Bennett continued "The lack of dental services in our constituency risks tooth decay and dental hygiene problems."


Alison Bennett, Parliamentary Candidate
Email - alison.bennett@arundelsouthdowns-libdems.org.uk

Deborah Miarkowska, PR & Media Lead:
Email - deborah.miarkowska@arundelsouthdowns-libdems.org.uk/

Published and promoted by Colin Wilsdon on behalf of Alison Bennett (Liberal Democrats) all at 9 The Crescent Hassocks BN6 8RB


  1. Lib Dem research was carried out 1st to 4th November using https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/dentists/how-to-find-an-nhs-dentist/ and confirmatory phone calls to dentist surgeries in the area.
  2. Travel distances NHS dentists:
    • Henfield to Hove 8.2 miles.
    • Hassocks to Falmer 4.6 miles
    • Hurst to Falmer 6.0 miles
    • Steyning to Hove 7.9 miles
    • Storrington to Horsham 11.2 miles
    • Pulborough to Horsham 10.7 miles
    • Petworth to Hazelmere 8.9 miles
    • Arundel to Hove 16.8 miles
    • Angmering to Hove 13.6 miles
    • Barnham to Havant 15.3 miles