It’s back to square one in terms of attracting much-needed NHS dentists to South Holland, with May 2020 a new target for more to be opened in the area.
After two dentists failed to open as planned in January citing problems with recruitment, NHS England has again called out for practices to open in the area.
However it’s been warned it would be May 2020 before the practices could realistically open.
A report to Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny committee on behalf of NHS England, Central England, states: “Following on from the outcome of the previous procurement which concluded in 2018, the Local Office has recently reviewed the dental commissioning intentions and is planning to re-procure the NHS dental services contracts for Spalding, Boston, Louth, Spilsby/Skegness and Mablethorpe in 2019.
“Plans for the procurement are being finalised, a notice has been shared with the market with an aim to commence the general dental services procurement process in May 2019.
“The procurement process would conclude with award of contracts currently estimated to be by the end of September 2019 to enable the preferred bidders a realistic mobilisation period to enable new services to commence in early May 2020.”
The report also states that the availability of dental care for both adults and children is below the national average.
JDSP Dental Ltd was poised to move into Winsover Road and had said the practice would be ready for patients in January.
There was also to be a January opening for Community Dental Services CiC at the Johnson Hospital but though both urged residents to register with them, neither practice opened.
An emergency service continues to run at the Johnson Hospital.
A spokesman for NHS England said in January: “Despite both providers exploring a number of options, they have not been able to find the workforce required to operate these services safely.”
The report that comes before the LCC Health Scrutiny committee says a Dental Workforce group has been set up to look at recruitment issues. “The aim of the proposal will be to deliver short-term as well as longer-term solutions to address the current difficulties in recruitment and retention in Lincolnshire, and to be able to have a workforce solution in place in readiness for the mobilisation of the new NHS dental contracts to be awarded and delivering services in 2020.”