Healthwatch Portsmouth to work with NHS England to try and avoid dental crisis

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NHS England has invited representatives from Healthwatch Portsmouth to join a panel to try and avert a dental crisis in the city. Recently, it was revealed that dental chain, Colosseum Dental would close three clinics in Portsmouth, a move that could impact up to 20,000 dental patients.

In response to the news, NHS England has extended an invitation to the campaign group to join a working group, which will aim to find solutions as quickly as possible. Roger Batterbury, chair of the watchdog, welcomed the move, and reassured patients that Healthwatch Portsmouth would be doing everything possible to ensure that they have access to the NHS services they need.

Describing the actions of Colosseum Dental as “outrageous,” Mr Batterbury said that the NHS has made the right decision in making identifying finding a new dental provider a priority.

The closures in Southsea, Paulsgrove and Portsea will undoubtedly place a lot of pressure on alternative services, and many patients are expecting to have to travel out of the city to see a dentist until alternative arrangements have been confirmed. The closures mean that there are currently no dental practices in the city with NHS adult places available.

Colosseum Dental took over the NHS dental contracts in 2017, but announced earlier this week that it would be closing its three Portsmouth clinics. Now, faced with an impending crisis that could see up to 20,000 people struggling to get an NHS dental appointment, NHS England is working to resolve the problem and ensure that patients have access to local services as soon as possible. Patients have been reassured that they will be kept up to date with any developments.

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