Hampshire & Isle of Wight

More money promised to attract dentists to Portsmouth

Paulsgrove Healthy Living Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption Three dental surgeries, including one in Paulsgrove, are to close in July

Dentists are being offered more money to work in Portsmouth after the closure of dental surgeries in the city.

Three surgeries closed last year, citing recruitment difficulties, temporarily leaving thousands of residents without an NHS dentist.

The NHS said increased payments and extended contracts would help make it "more attractive" for dentists.

It blamed the recruitment issues on a national shortage and the lack of dentists from the EU following Brexit.

Colosseum Dental closed practices in Paulsgrove, Portsea and Southsea in June. Since then two practices owned by Perfect Smile have taken on new patients as a temporary measure.

New incentives introduced by NHS England include increasing the amount paid to dentists for a treatment from £26 to £28 and extended contracts, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Speaking at a Portsmouth City Council health overview and scrutiny panel meeting, Verna Easterby-Smith, clinical commissioning lead for dental provision, agreed the increase in payments would add up to "a reasonable amount per practice".

"Though I hate to mention it we were getting a lot of dentists from Europe.

"At the moment the number of dentists coming from Europe has almost dried up."

Applications for new dental providers are due to close at the end of March. NHS England said it was expecting to have chosen new providers by June.

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