Grahame Morris MP is one of over seventy cross-party MPs who are urging the Chancellor to take measures to safeguard the future of dentists and dental surgeries in the UK.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, MPs have expressed concern that over three-quarters of dentists will receive no support from the various financial aid schemes which have been set up by the Government in recent weeks.
All routine dental care is currently suspended. The letter states that, as a result of the situation:
– Over 70% of practices report they can only remain financially sustainable for 3 months or less
– Approximately 1 in 5 estimate they can only survive the month
– Less than a third estimate they will be placed to restore pre-pandemic levels of patient access.
Many dentists are self-employed, and earn just above the £50,000 threshold for support through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), so will receive no aid. Many practices do not qualify for a small business grant, nor are they eligible for business rates relief.
As a result, many dentists have been left with no option but to apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CCBIL). However, the letter reveals that over 90% of applicants were unable to secure credit.
Signatories are appealing to the Government to do the following:
1. Raise the £50,000 cap on support through the SEISS
2. Intervene to ensuring easier access to the CBIL scheme
3. Extend business rates relief to all practices.
Grahame Morris MP said, “It is imperative that dentists and dental practices have access to the financial help that they need at this time. Dentists are health professionals who provide a vital service to their patients. The Government must act quickly to ensure that this sector does not suffer.”