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New hope for more NHS dental treatment

PUBLISHED: 09:39 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010

More dental patients in several Norfolk “hotspots” including North Walsham are to be offered NHS treatment after health bosses have backed plans which could see more dentists opting for the state-run system.

More dental patients in several Norfolk “hotspots” including North Walsham are to be offered NHS treatment after health bosses have backed plans which could see more dentists opting for the state-run system.

Under the proposals, which were adopted at a Primary Care Trust meeting in Swaffham on Tuesday, dentists who had recently gone private can now revert to the NHS.

New dentists can apply for contracts in areas identified by the PCT as “hotspots of most need”.

The PCT has invited dentists in North Walsham and Dereham to tender for the extra contracts worth £700,000, although it is not yet clear how many specialists have been approached by the board.

John Ingham, assistant director of finance, explained that about £700,000 was released last year when dentists decided to opt out of their NHS contracts.

He said much of the cash was then invested into temporary provision in areas of most need, such as Dereham or North Walsham.

“Moving into 2008, and into a new financial year, we decided to look at the possibility of recommissioning permanent services,” he said.

“The PCT recently advertised its proposals to put in place more dental contracts in parts of the county and had asked dentists to express an interest.

“We have received a number of interested responses, and all of

these dentists will be sent

the formal tendering documents

and information packs,” said Mr Ingham.

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