Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Private dentistry boss bankrolls Tory MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke

Election candidate Jack Lopresti is a recipient of cash from a major private dentistry firm.

General Election 2019

Jack Lopresti with Boris Johnson. (Credit: Jack Lopresti)

Jack Lopresti, the Conservative party election candidate and MP for the marginal seat of Filton and Bradley Stoke, has received £5,000 from a major private dentistry company. Genix Healthcare Ltd specialises in private dental services as well as NHS contracted care, running a network of 25 clinics across the UK.

Lopresti, who accepted the cash last year, is not the only Conservative to receive a donation from the dentistry firm. The company is headed up by Mr Mustafa Tariq Mohammed who has donated almost £400,000 to the Conservative Party since 2013, either personally or through companies of which he is the majority shareholder. Genix Healthcare Ltd is ultimately owned by a company based in the tax haven of Dubai.

the private dentistry market is set to grow as more seek treatment inaccessible on the NHS due to under funding

On Wednesday, in the latest update on the NHS dental care crisis the BBC reported that more than 2 million adults in England are unable to see an NHS dentist.

Chronic NHS underfunding has fuelled significant growth in the private dentistry market, while many others are going untreated entirely or resorting to ‘DIY dentistry’.

Mohammed has donated so much to the Conservatives that he joined the ‘Leaders Group’, a collection of elite donors who give at least £50,000 every year and is described by the party as the “premier supporter Group of the Conservative Party”. Mohammed is listed as attending a Leader’s Group dinner in 2017 with Boris Johnson, Theresa May and the then Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Mr Mohammed reportedly sponsored a table and was on the attendee list at the infamous male-only ‘President’s Club’ event where the Financial Times revealed widespread sexual harassment and abuse of female staff by members of the UK’s elite. There is no suggestion of any impropriety.

Jack Lopresti attended Genix Healthcare’s annual conference in 2016. Also in attendance was Andrea Jenkyns the Tory MP who went on to marry Jack Lopresti in 2017 after an extramarital affair. Since 2015 Genix Healthcare has made £6,200 in donations to her constituency party. Other beneficiaries include former Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who received £20,000 from Mohammed in June 2019.

There is no suggestion that Lopresti or any other politicians have used their positions to benefit Genix Healthcare Limited.

Lopresti, Mohammed and Genix Healthcare did not respond to questions on the matter.

Private dentistry on the rise as NHS in crisis

Most dentistry is provided by private practises that deliver basic services under contract from the NHS, with most patients also paying charges. Following changes introduced in 2006 by Tony Blair’s Labour government there was a dramatic drop in the ability for the public to access NHS dental care. Research at the time showed that this led to a surge in people accessing private dentists who offer services for considerably higher rates than the NHS.

Recent governments have failed to address the funding and recruitment problems in NHS dentistry. A British Dental Association analysis of government data earlier this year showed that over one million new patients tried and failed to secure access to routine NHS dental services as practises are not taking on new patients and waiting times for appointments stretching to months.

As the BBC reported, many others are going without treatment at all, or are turning to GPs or hospitals which are unequipped to help.

This has helped fuel the growth and profitability of private practices like Genix Healthcare Ltd, which launched in 2006 and now runs a network of 25 clinics across the UK. Recent research shows that the private dentistry market is set to grow as more seek treatment inaccessible on the NHS due to underfunding. Recently the Conservative Minister for Health, Matt Hancock was criticised for encouraging dental patients in his constituency who can’t access NHS services to go private despite huge price increases.

This week the Labour party pledged that basic dental care, including check ups, would be made free to access in an effort to prioritise preventative care. The move was welcomed by the British Dental Association, who also called for changes to address recruitment shortages in the delivery of NHS services. The Conservatives said the plans would cost too much but have said they will invest more in the service, as have the Lib Dems.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Comments

Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

  • I am a pensioner and unlike jack lopresti M.P cannot afford private dentists I have worked all my life as poorly paid Reg.Nurse and paid my NI WHICH HAS JUST GONE UP! all dentists around me don’t take on NHS patients and I have just had to pay £125 for check up I shall not be voting for him again

    Reply

Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Deal to reopen crucial St Paul’s dentists could be ‘sorted soon’, campaigners say

Hopeful messages emerge at community event hosted by campaigners, with dental care provider in detailed contract discussions with local health bosses that could see services return.

Revealed: Private takeover of Bristol GP surgery ‘abandoned’ at last minute

One Medicare was due to take over Charlotte Keel Medical Practice in Easton at the start of July – before NHS bosses abruptly pulled the plug.

A history of Bristol’s healthcare for the working classes

It's a myth that there was little or no access to free medical care before the establishment of the NHS in 1948 – but progress was slow, unequal and sometimes grisly.

Social care crisis leaves healthy patients stuck in Bristol’s hospitals

The lack of carers in the city is down to poor pay, Brexit, competition from the likes of Amazon and increasingly unaffordable housing.

Bristol midwife: ‘The system is broken and is breaking us with it’

Staff shortages, increased pressure and mental health issues are threatening to cause a mass exodus from midwifery. A Bristol midwife explains why she and her colleagues are taking to the streets this weekend to call for urgent action.

‘My operations were cancelled because of Covid. I’m still waiting in pain.’

Russell Pugh is one of many frustrated patients whose surgeries have been pushed down the queue since the pandemic began.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning