Kentish Town ‘urgent dental service’ is being closed leaving only two hospitals in London capable of dealing with dental issues. NHS England has announced it would close the service from 31 March, despite 5,451 people using it in 2016. It has suggested that people call the NHS 111 helpline or seek an appointment with their dentist if they have any dental issues in the future.
Access to emergency dental care is increasingly a postcode lottery,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, chair of the General Dental Practice at the British Dental Association (BDA), said. Inadequate provision is simply piling more pressure on GPs and A&Es that are not equipped to provide dental treatment. It’s absurd that NHS 111 operators are asking patients to do ring-rounds.
Urgent dental care
There will be two remaining urgent dental care hospitals in London, King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. The BDA has estimated that under-reporting of dental patients in A&E could mean up to 135,000 patients are visiting hospitals around the UK for dental issues costing the NHS almost £18 million. It also believes that around 95,000 of these cases are related to toothache costing the NHS £12.5 million.