LAST month the Government announced extra funding for NHS dentistry in the Bradford district.

The move was further proof that the T&A’s Stop The Rot campaign has touched on a raw nerve by shining a light on the state of health service dental treatment in the city.

We welcome the Government’s commitment to spend more money on dentistry but we are shocked and disappointed at the scale of so-called clawback across the district.

Clawback occurs when a dentist fails to meet NHS activity targets. In effect, the Government takes some of its money back.

This isn’t due to a lack of patients, it’s because dentists are spending too much time – in the Government’s view – with patients most in need of help.

Bradford East MP Imran Hussain discovered that dental practices in Bradford have been stripped of £436,260 in the past three years, yet only £129,995 has been reinvested back into the city. No one knows where the rest of the money went.

In a district where forty per cent of the population doesn’t have access to an NHS dentist - and even the lucky ones who do face long delays on NHS waiting lists - that is not good enough.

This perverse contract penalises dentists for helping patients in the greatest need.

The Government acknowledges that the NHS dental contract is in urgent need of reform. It can make a start by scrapping the ridiculous clawback arrangement.

We believe every pound that is allocated for spending on dental treatment for people in Bradford should be spent here.