Dental campaigners in Suffolk have called on new health secretary Therese Coffey to ‘"et round the table" with them to discuss a solution to the ongoing crisis with the county’s teeth.

The Suffolk Coastal MP was named the new secretary of state for health and deputy prime minister as new prime minister Liz Truss announced her first cabinet on Tuesday.

She has used the alphabet to list her key priorities for the NHS as A, B, C, D - A for Ambulances, B for Backlogs, C for Care and D for Doctors and Dentists.

Steve Marsling, co-coordinator of Toothless in Suffolk, said: “Her concern about this is welcome, but we have not heard a lot from her in the past.

“Peter Aldous, the MP for Waveney, has been very helpful and invited us down to London, but Therese Coffey has not been in touch with the campaign.”

Bury Mercury: Steve Marsling, co-coordinator of Toothless in Suffolk, has called for talks with Therese CoffeySteve Marsling, co-coordinator of Toothless in Suffolk, has called for talks with Therese Coffey (Image: CHARLOTTE BOND)

The campaigners are calling for the NHS dental contract to be renegotiated to incentivise dentists to undertake NHS work.

Research by the BBC found that no private dental practices in Norfolk or Suffolk were currently offering NHS treatment.

Mr Marsling said: “If she is really serious about doing something about the dental crisis then she should arrange a meeting with myself and Mark Jones (Toothless in Suffolk co-founder) as constituents of hers so we can get around to talking about how we can improve the dental crisis and what kind of money that would take and making it a priority.”

In January, the Department of Health announced funding for 350,000 new NHS appointments nationwide, but at the time Mr Marsling said this would be "unworkable" because the service needed to recruit extra staff and existing staff would not want to work the extra hours.

Data published in January revealed an exodus of dentists from the service - including at least 27% in Suffolk since 2020.

Figures from the Department of Health showed the current joint third worst affected area in England was the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which saw a fall of 21% of dentists completing NHS work between 2020 and 2021.

Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG saw a drop of 6% during the same period, while Norfolk and Waveney CCG, which includes the Waveney area of Suffolk, saw 7% fewer dentists.