A group that aims to be a voice for patients in Lincolnshire has said more orthodontic services for young people could be available locally.
Healthwatch Lincolnshire says it’s spoken to NHS Dental Services and that new orthodontic services will be available in Spalding and other towns in the county rather than being centralised in Lincoln.
A spokesman for the group said: “Currently the service is concentrated in Lincoln meaning all patients and their families have to travel significant distances for their orthodontic treatment.
“Under the new plans orthodontic services will now be available in areas such as Gainsborough, Boston, Spalding, Grantham, Sleaford and Horncastle or Louth as well as Lincoln City.
“This change means there could well be less disruption to children and their families needing orthodontic treatment for things like school. Healthwatch Lincolnshire feels this also offers a more equally accessible service for all our younger residents.”
Healthwatch Lincolnshire has also commented on the new dentists set to open in Spalding.
As previously reported, Winsover Dental Care is due to open an 8am to 8pm service, 365 days a year from March 2020.
However no preferred bidder was found for a planned second new practice to be opened in Spalding.
It follows two practices that were due to open early this year never coming to fruition with operators citing recruitment problems as they reason the plans didn’t come through.
Healthwatch Lincolnshire described the announcement of the new practice alongside other new ones in Boston and Louth as “really good news”.
“However Healthwatch Lincolnshire is still concerned that the NHS was unable to secure contracts for an additional service in Spalding, as well as two further services in Mablethorpe and Skegness/Spilsby,” a spokesman continued.
“Having recently met with the NHS team responsible for NHS Dental Services in the county, we know they are working hard to find companies prepared to take on these three new services but a severe shortage of NHS dentists is one of the major factors why the NHS is having difficulty in awarding the contracts.
“In starting to address the problem of lack of NHS dentists, we were really pleased to hear there is a Lincolnshire initiative to invite and encourage more young people to consider a career in dentistry, with one recruitment drive already happening this month.”
Healthwatch Lincolnshire would like to hear any comments about recent trips to the dentist.
They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 01205 820892.