AN MP has slammed the Government's health spending record after figures showed East Lancashire has some of the worst child tooth decay in the country.

Burnley MP and shadow health minister for community health, Julie Cooper said the ‘shocking’ inequalities in levels of tooth decay are a ‘stark indictment of Tory failure to maintain essential NHS services’.

The figures, which were released in the latest Child Oral Health Survey, showed that Burnley was one of the few local authorities in the country which has seen a deterioration in children’s oral health since the last survey two years ago.

It was the third worst out of 305 local authorities for which data was available.

Neighbouring Pendle fared even worse with 49.4% children experiencing tooth decay and Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen also featured in the ‘top 10 worst’ list.

Mrs Cooper said: “These shocking and worsening inequalities in levels of tooth decay are a stark indictment of Tory failure to maintain essential NHS services. Tooth decay is still the leading cause of hospital admissions for five to nine-year-olds, and yet is almost entirely preventable.

“Oral health cannot remain neglected and underfunded.

Around 170 children in England are undergoing tooth extractions under general anaesthesia in hospitals in England every day. This costs £36 million a year – and the number of operations have increased by 17% since 2012.

Chairman of the British Dental Association, Mick Armstrong said: “It’s a tragedy that a child’s oral health is still determined by their postcode and their parents’ incomes.

“We should not accept that a child raised in Pendle will enter primary school with twenty times the levels of decay as one born in the Surrey home of the Health Secretary."