Record rise in people signing up to NHS dentistry

By Ian Dipple 07/03 Updated: 07/03 14:35

ALMOST 3,000 new dental places have been created in Redditch meaning residents now have more access to an NHS dentist than anywhere else in the county.

Record numbers of people across Worcestershire are also signing up with an NHS dentist with more than 3,000 joining between October and January alone.

Since April last year 24,000 new places have been created across the county, including space to treat an additional 2,900 people in Redditch.

NHS Worcestershire is now launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the availability of NHS dentistry.

The service was hit by a number of withdrawls by dentists who chose to go private after the Labour Government introduced new contracts in 2006, which led to problems for some residents gaining access to dental care through the health service.

But Sally Everton, dental commissioning manager for NHS Worcestershire, said they had invested heavily in creating new places.

"We have good access to local NHS dental services in Worcestershire but some people perceive it is difficult to find a dentist or to get an appointment or to get treated. The campaign aims to address those concerns, plus other popular misconceptions such as people believing they don’t quality for NHS treatment, that it is expensive or that they will be charged when in fact they are exempt from payment," she said.

The campaign includes the creation of the character ‘Mighty Molar Man’ who can be followed on Twitter @WorcsNHSDentist or on Facebook www.facebook.com/NHSDentistryWorcestershire.

A roadshow also takes place in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre on Monday (January 12) between 10am and 1pm.

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