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Health chiefs in talks to bring NHS dentists to Spalding

Health chiefs are pulling out the stops in a bid to find a way to provide full NHS dental services in Spalding.

The news follows a double disappointment as two NHS dental surgeries due to open this month failed to launch because they cannot recruit enough dentists.

Prospective patients received the news at the 11th hour - some hearing after a press story had appeared.

Johnson Community Hospital was to have hosted one of the proposed new NHS dental services.
Johnson Community Hospital was to have hosted one of the proposed new NHS dental services.

JDSP Dental had planned to open 365 days a year in Winsover Road while Community Dental Services CIC were due to move in to Johnson Community Hospital.

Jim Heys, locality director for NHS England in Lincolnshire, said: “Discussions are now taking place as a priority with the companies, internal colleagues and other stakeholders to consider alternative models of service delivery and workforce solutions.

“This will enable us to understand the local context and the impact of any alternative approaches before we consider next steps.”

While the long-proposed routine care for NHS patients isn’t arriving, there will still be urgent NHS dental care provided at the hospital.

Mr Heys said:“Community Dental Services CIC and other local providers in Spalding have confirmed they are able to continue with the interim urgent dental service that is currently in place.

“This means patients will be able to access urgent dental care if needed, although we do acknowledge the importance of ensuring patients are also able to access routine dental care and are working hard to address this.”

Lincolnshire’s patient watchdog, Healthwatch, is calling on NHS England for some “immediate action” to support Spalding’s prospective NHS dental patients.

Healthwatch chief executive officer Sarah Fletcher said: "In light of the Spalding disappointment we would hope now that some immediate action is taken to support those patients, but we also welcome the new providers to the county and look forward to working with them in the future to support the patient voice.”

Healthwatch said it had been waiting patiently for the two services to launch in Spalding and is disappointed.

Mrs Fletcher said: “This news is will be difficult to hear for residents of Spalding and district who have been waiting to register with the new services.

“We will continue to liaise closely with NHS England with regards to new dental services in Lincolnshire and are hoping they will be able to rectify the situation sooner rather than later."

We revealed last May that two new NHS dental surgeries were due to open in Spalding.

What do you think? Email your view to our editor jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk


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