Bridlington practice turns to Facebook to fill places

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Staff at a dental practice in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, have turned to Facebook in a bid to fill vacant places.

The VI Dental Centre currently has two thousand spare NHS places after the practice was given funding for ten thousand extra places. Eight thousand of the places have now been filled but staff are struggling to fill the remaining slots.

Staff have now resorted to using social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook in a bid to encourage patients to register with the VI Dental Centre. It is hoped that the recent foray into social media will prove to be successful; many people don’t realise local services are available so this campaign will help to raise awareness of NHS provision in the Bridlington area.

Dr Maria Van-Reij, a dentist at the practice, said there simply weren’t enough patients at the practice at the moment; she hopes that the Facebook experiment will pay off and more patients will start to come through the doors. Staff are also hoping that more young patients will be encouraged to register with the centre; Facebook is predominantly used by people in their teens, twenties and thirties so hopefully more people from this age group will join the patient register.

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire has ploughed money into dental services in the Bridlington area; a spokeswoman said around £65,000 had been invested over the course of the last two years. The trust is aiming to encourage people to choose NHS dentistry over private dentistry and make the most of the local services available to them.

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