The UK’s first ever NHS mobile dentistry service has been launched to ease problems with access to dentists.
The service will cover hard-to-reach areas and is in direct response to the public’s difficulty in accessing NHS dental care.
DentalXpress launched the nationwide mobile dentistry service last month, using a fleet of multi-clinic multi-room portable dental units.
And Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT is the first trust in the country to introduce the service.
The organisation’s mobile practice provision means that it can operate efficiently and cost effectively across the whole of the UK and, wherever a dental practice is needed, a DentalXpress mobile unit can be on the spot in a very short space of time, offering a ‘reliable, high quality service’.
DentalXpress spokesman Amarjit Gill (above) explained the background to the organisation.
He said: ‘The population of the UK is projected to rise to 67 million by 2031 and, as NHS dentistry budgets decline, there is going to be even greater pressure on already limited resources, as funding is further stretched.
‘Primary care trusts (PCTs) are constantly looking for innovative solutions and don’t want to invest in fixed practices at a cost of £500,000 to £750,000 if the demand for dentistry does not materialise.
‘The DentalXpress Acute Access Programme has a mission to provide logistical support to Primary Care Trusts in areas where little or no access to NHS dentistry currently exists and commitment to a fixed practice in areas of greatest need is often impossible for a number of reasons.’
The recent BDA report on Dental Futures highlighted a number of priority groups as being at greatest risk of suffering poor oral health.
These included the elderly, the young, people with learning difficulties, mental health sufferers, the homeless and prisoners.