Portsmouth to get an extra 15 dentists in bid to ease ‘catastrophic shortage’

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‘We are very pleased to hear the news and feel that our concerns around lack of NHS dentists in the city are being recognised but we shouldn’t have to speak up for this,’ he said. ‘No resident should have to wait for basic health provision such as dental check-ups, especially those in the most deprived areas of our city who are unable to access a dentist in any other way.’

Portsmouth is getting funding for more dentists

NHS data showed numbers declined by almost half in the two years to the end of the 2020/21 financial year. With the creation of the Hampshire-wide Integrated Care Board this year, the figure for last year has been combined with the rest of the county.

They have been joined by the Lib Dem-led council whose leader, councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said had been ‘lobbying the NHS and the industry pretty hard’.

Last month, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board’s acting director of primary care, Sylvia Macey, said she expected improvements to access to NHS dentistry over the next six months.

‘We are expecting that situation to change slowly,’ she added. ‘It won’t be a big bang because the dentist does get completely overwhelmed and they can’t see anyone because those first-timers often need several appointments to get the treatments they need.’

UDAs represent the value of each treatment provided by a dentist through the NHS and a single visit can range in value from one to 12 of these units.

Of the 176,000 extra now provided to Hampshire, 104,000 will go to dentists in Portsmouth through four new contracts, which have yet to be fully signed off. These equate to to 15 new NHS dentists with each dentist performing about 7,000 units a year.

Jo York, the integrated care board’s managing director for Portsmouth and lead for dental commissioning, said it would continue to look at measures to improve provision in the city.

‘We are aware of the scale of the challenge to improve access for people struggling to get NHS dental care,’ she said. ‘Longer term, we are exploring how to work with education partners to train more dental practice staff locally, building relationships with patient representatives and dental providers and seeking to better understand patient needs so that in future we can better design services.’

It has not been revealed which surgeries will receive the extra units.

After the departure of Colosseum in 2019 and the closure of three surgeries, The News launched the Kick In The Teeth campaign to push for more dentistry.

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