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​Portsmouth joins growing list of communities failed by broken NHS dental system

11 June 2019


The BDA is concerned to hear that Portsmouth, Hampshire, has joined the growing list of communities across England left without an NHS dentist.


Colosseum Dental is closing three practices in Portsmouth making a number of staff redundant and leaving 20,000 people without an NHS dentist.


Over 1 million new patients tried and failed to access an NHS dentist last year according the Government's GP Survey. NHS dentistry has been facing a recruitment and retention crisis, with 75% of NHS practices in England struggling to fill vacancies last year according to BDA surveys. The failed target-driven NHS contract has been a major driver of low morale.


BDA analysis in March showed new patients across England are looking at round trips of over 40 miles, with some reliant on public transport facing over 4 hours in transit. New adult patients in Barrow-in-Furness faced a round trip of 90 miles to the nearest available practice.


Net government expenditure on services in England has fallen by nearly £550 million in real terms since 2010, with patient charges increasing by 30% to plug the funding gap.


BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: 


"Years of underfunding and failed contracts have taken their toll. 


"We are seeing practices struggling to remain sustainable as vacancies go unfilled, and over a million patients are left unable to secure an appointment.


"NHS dentistry remains the Cinderella Service, and this is the latest evidence that its future can no longer be guaranteed."


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