THE Government has announced that an extra £200million will go into better access to NHS dentists' appointments.

Dental care is part of the NHS not an optional extra, and our local NHS in Hampshire, now responsible for commissioning dental services, needs to put in place a step change in access to NHS dental appointments for children and adults.

This should start with the information on the NHS 'Find a Dentist' website which is out of date, with almost half of Basingstoke dentists on the site not giving up-to-date information on whether they have NHS appointments.

There are dentists providing NHS testament in Basingstoke with the NHS paying for 224,319 UDAs per year of NHS dentistry in Basingstoke and Deane.

It's clear this is not sufficient to meet the dental needs of the community and given the out of date information on the NHS website, residents don't know where NHS dental care can be booked.

Our local NHS must make it easier for patients who need NHS dental care, updating the online information and making dental care the priority it needs to be.

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke