Seaside town’s free clinic hit PCT income

A free dental service offered by trainee university students is affecting income received by a primary care trust (PCT) for dental contracts.

Dentistry.co.uk reported how residents in the seaside town of Southend were snapping up some no-cost treatment by local students, thanks to the brand new clinic that opened its doors to the public in January.

Now, the South East Essex PCT says it is losing out on the fixed charge patients are required to pay for NHS dental services because many are using the Southend Health and Dental Care Centre, at the University of Essex Southend.

The Barts and The London Academic Dental Clinic, based at the Southend campus, is staffed by senior dental students, and local residents can book up for treatments including check-ups, routine fillings, simple root canals and extractions.

All the treatments are free and there’s no need for a referral.

Angela Wong Keet, spokeswoman for the trust, said: ‘The PCT is delighted there is increased dental services for patients.

‘However, there is a potential financial risk to the PCT, which at this time is not quantifiable.’

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