Closed petition Extend Maternity Exemption Certificates

Get maternity exemption certificates extended for those who have not been able to use them during the COVID lockdown.

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Women who are entitled to free dental care and other benefits due to the maternity exemption certificates have been unable to use them due to the COVID closing dentists. Women’s teeth can deteriorate during pregnancy, so let’s get these certificates extended so women can benefit from the free dental care.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 9 February 2021

The Government has no plan to extend maternity exemption certificates. All NHS dentistry has been open from 8 June 2020. Pregnant women and new mothers are encouraged to access treatment as necessary.

The Government has no plans to extend maternity exemption certificates. Pregnant women and new mothers who have given birth within the last 12 months are exempt from NHS dental charges. Whilst NHS dental practices were closed for face to face care during the first national lockdown period, practices continued to provide remote advice, analgesics and antibiotics. Urgent face to face care was provided from over 600 urgent dental care centres across the country, established by NHS England and Improvement regional commissioners. Therefore, any urgent treatment a pregnant woman or new mother needed, during this period, should have been available.

Since the 8th of June 2020, all NHS dental practices have been able to offer face to face care, supported by the urgent dental care centres that continue to remain open and supporting the provision of urgent care. NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued guidance setting out the priority order in which patients should be seen, focusing on urgent treatment, particularly for vulnerable groups, followed by routine care which is overdue. Anyone concerned with their oral health, including pregnant women and new mothers, should therefore contact their dental practice to access treatment.

Across England, a steady increase in dental activity has now been made possible following updated Prevention and Control guidance issued by Public Health England which has reduced the time needed to rest a room between patients. This has enabled NHS England and Improvement to set new targets for the level of activity provided by NHS dental contractors between 1 January and 31 March 2021. This is hoped to further increase the availability of vital NHS dental care for patients, reduce waiting times and address backlogs of dental care.

Department of Health and Social Care