We called 24 Hampshire dentists and only two are accepting new NHS patients

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It is almost impossible to find a dentist in Hampshire who is accepting new NHS patients. We called 24 dental offices and only two said they would take new people, but it would be months before we could see a dentist.

Of the 24 we phoned, the two that were accepting new patients were both in Aldershot and accepting both children and adults. However, the first appointments did not take place until September.

With the cost of living skyrocketing, many will rely on NHS treatment, but finding a dentist is nearly impossible. Of the 24 we called, 22 said they were not taking new NHS patients – a dentist in Fleet said they had a two-and-a-half-year waiting list.

READ MORE: ‘Huge crisis’ looms as people struggle to access NHS dentists across Hampshire

We called dentists all over the county including the three main towns of Southampton, Portsmouth, Winchester. We also contacted firms in the towns of Basingstoke, Andover, Aldershot, Fleet, Havant and Eastleigh.

Of course, we haven’t contacted every NHS dentist in the county, but a quick scan of the NHS website shows that many dental practices are refusing new patients. However, this information may be out of date, so it is worth calling to verify.

Yet the only dentists we could find accepting new NHS patients were in Aldershot. Other practices said they could accept private patients, adding that they had payment plans, but for many it would still be too expensive.

Hampshire has been described as one of the worst areas facing ‘dental dessert’ from NHS services. According to the Association of Dental Groups, 76% of adults in Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight have not seen a dentist for more than 24 months.

Earlier this month, HampshireLive spoke to a local dentist who described the situation in Hampshire as a “spiraling mess”. With a number of NHS dentists moving to private practice, leaving overworked NHS dentists with huge backlogs.

A spokesperson for NHS England and Improvement in the South East said: “Since December 2020, we have offered additional short-term funding to practices that have the capacity to work overtime, with a focus on urgent needs The number of practices that have participated since that time has been variable as it was dependent on them having the staffing levels to offer this service.

Additionally, a procurement process is underway to cover areas of greatest need and we hope to have these new contracts in place from early 2023. Anyone concerned about their dental health should contact their local dentist as she usually would or consult NHS advice. 111.”

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