NHS Scheme Boosts Dental Visits in Derby
More than three thousand people in Derby have returned to their dental practice after a break of more than two years thanks to a new NHS dental scheme.
NHS Derbyshire applied for additional funding from the government earlier this year after Andrew Lansley announced extra cash was available for NHS dental services and the trust successfully secured a sum of £180,000, which has been used to encourage patients who have not seen their dentist in a long time to arrange and attend a routine check-up.
The scheme targeted around 4,000 people in the area, all of whom had visited their dentist for two years; vouchers for £17 were available to cover the cost of a check-up and almost 3,000 people took up the offer.
Local dentist Mak Sidhu, from Park Dental in Chaddesden, participated in the scheme and was delighted to see patients who had not visited for a long time; one patient he saw had not been to the dentist for 30 years and many had not been for at least a decade.
The dental scheme was advertised and supported by the Derby Telegraph and in total, 32 practices across the county took part in the scheme, which ran throughout the month of March.
Keith Mann, head of primary care for NHS Derbyshire, said that the scheme had been successful in encouraging people to see their dentist after a long period of time and the check-ups were very useful, as many people had conditions that required further treatment.
A patient questionnaire revealed that over a third of people said that they had not visited the dentist in a long time because they assumed that there would be no available NHS places in the area. A local professional network has been set up, made up of dentists, health chiefs and patients, to encourage more people to access their local dental services.
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