“It is great to be able to offer this new service for local residents as part of our investment programme in NHS dental care,” said Julia Bagshaw, associate director for primary care commissioning for NHS Hampshire. “Since April 2009 we have invested over £1.7 million which has meant we have been able to add four new contracts across the county which have provided 27,000 extra NHS dental places for Hampshire residents. But it doesn’t stop there; we have four more practices which are due to open over the next six months.”
The new practice will take on over 5,500 new patients over the next few months and local people who need to see an NHS dentist can now request an appointment through the Dental Helpline. Appointments will be available in batches over the next few months so we would urge local people not to rush as there will be plenty of opportunity for them to be seen. We take this approach so we can avoid people having to wait six months or more for their initial assessment, wondering if they are on the list or not. It also means the dental practice will have the most up-to-date contact information for those who would like to be seen.
Requesting an appointment is simple and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Just visit the Dental Helpline website or call 0845 050 8345 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. The details you give will be passed on to the dental practice and an appointment for an initial examination arranged within the next couple of months.
Mrs Bagshaw urged local people not to turn up at the dental practice without an appointment. “The practice will not be able to accept patients who go directly to them, either in person or on the phone,” she said. “Everyone must phone the dedicated telephone number and please don’t worry if you can’t make your request straight away as there will be places available over the next few months.”
If you need emergency treatment whilst waiting to register, call the Dental Helpline on 0845 050 8345 as usual, between 8.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.