Isle of Wight dental problems will continue with no ‘super surgery’ on the horizon

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No one has come forward to come up with super surgery to fill the hole in Isle of Wight dental care.

In an effort to solve the island’s dentistry problems – which see thousands of residents waiting months for an appointment – a new dental practice has been proposed.

In March, following a review of current dental services on the island, NHS England sought to create a contract for a dental practice almost four times larger than a full-time surgery.

The offer to find someone to fulfill this contract, however, failed.

In an update from the Isle of Wight Council for Health and Social Care‘s Policy and Oversight Committee, which will be heard at its meeting next week (6 June), the NHS said it had ordered services in Hampshire and the Island as a priority.

While work is currently underway in the Solent, the NHS says with disappointment that no one has come forward to accept the proposed new contract for the island.

The NHS says teams are working to understand why previously interested parties have not come forward and, once those responses have been assessed, they will consider alternative and flexible arrangements.

In July, the commissioning of dental services will move from NHS England to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board.

It is hoped the move will allow for more local and bespoke arrangements to address the island’s problems.

A persistent problem remains, however, in the recruitment and retention of dentists on the island.

The final version of the NHS’s review of dental needs in the region, published earlier this month, said the IW’s recruitment problems had led to the under-delivery of commissioned dental activity.

The NHS says the problems here are most pronounced, with insufficient staff to provide these services.

The organization says the recruitment and retention of dentists should be reviewed with all stakeholders and addressed in a systematic way.

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