Councillors raise concerns over future provision of dental services in deprived areas of Portsmouth

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Councillors in Portsmouth have raised concerns over the future of NHS dental provision in some of the city’s most deprived areas.

NHS England has been working to identify suitable providers for new contracts after Colosseum Dental announced that it would cease to provide NHNS dental care unexpectedly. The chain had three clinics in the city, with two located in the less affluent suburbs of Portsea and Paulsgrove. Up to 20,000 patients were affected by the closures.

Despite making efforts to install new providers, councillors are worried that NHS England is not considering the locations put forward by politicians and councillors in the city. Some of the more deprived areas, which are in need of improved access, could miss out, according to the leader of the council’s health and wellbeing board, Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Speaking at a meeting of the panel, Mr Vernon-Jackson said that he was under the impression that clinics would be located in Paulsgrove and Portsea, but that a recent discussion with NHS England representatives had suggested otherwise. Rather than focusing on these parts of the city, NHS England was looking at the general areas of north and south Portsmouth. 

Cllr Vernon-Jackson also stated that he felt that adding patients to existing practice lists was not the best course of action. NHS England has been working with other providers in the city, including Bupa Dental, to provide short-term access for former Colosseum Dental patients.

A spokesperson for NHS England confirmed that procurement for the new contracts was underway, with one contract available for north of the M27, including Paulsgrove, and one in the south of the city, which covers Portsea.

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