Relief for Portsmouth dental patients, as university agrees temporary contract

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Dental patients in Portsmouth can breathe a sigh of relief, as it is believed a new contract will soon be agreed with the University of Portsmouth’s Dental Academy. 

Up to 20,000 dental patients were left facing an uncertain future when Colosseum Dental announced that it was ceasing NHS operations in the city, but now, there is hope. After the chain pulled out of its contract with the NHS, Bupa Dental stepped in to offer temporary relief, and NHS England is also working with the university to provide care for local patients. The university’s dental academy provides a limited NHS service, but is set to expand to accommodate patients who were registered with Colosseum Dental. 

Colosseum Dental closed three NHS sites in the city, leaving many struggling to access treatment, but other providers have been working tirelessly with NHS chiefs to find a solution. In a letter to Portsmouth City Council members, Julia Booth, acting head of primary care at NHS England, confirmed that the university had agreed to fulfil a temporary contract. The facility is located in the south of the city, close to one of the Colosseum Dental clinics that closed, and will provide NHS treatment for those previously registered with the chain.

Currently, the university has a contract with the NHS, which is focused on providing training opportunities for students and working with organisations to treat homeless people, young children, the elderly, and criminals who are on probation. The new, temporary contract will enable local people to access general dental services. To be able to deliver the contract, the academy will be recruiting extra members of staff, and the service will be up and running as soon as possible. 

Ms Booth also confirmed that the NHS is working with a third dental provider in the city to increase capacity in at least one practice

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