NHS dental care shortage: thousands to miss out across the west

2023-06-08 09:10:49  • 3 mins

By Scott Ellis

BBC Points West

A shortage of NHS dentists across the west means thousands of patients are no longer receiving treatment.

In one Bristol neighbourhood, the local dental practice is set to close at the end of June, leaving more than 7,000 people looking for alternatives.

Campaigners are now fighting to stop the closure of the Bupa Dental Health Care practice in St Paul's, and have vowed to protest outside every week.

The government said hundreds of new dentists have recently been recruited.

Some patients at the St Paul's practice say they have been told there are no NHS dental places available in Bristol, and the nearest ones are in Chippenham, Wiltshire, or Chepstow, across the River Severn.

Gaye Herford, the lead NHS dentist in St Paul's, has worked in the area since 1995.

She said it had been a privilege to work in the "diverse, wonderful, thriving and challenged community", as she prepares to move to work in Keynsham when her current place of work closes.

"Everybody here absolutely has a right to ongoing, sustained, affordable NHS care.

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