Queues for dentists would be repeated around the country if more practices take on new NHS patients, experts warn

  • Hundreds gathered outside a surgery which has opened to NHS patients in Bristol

Crazy queues for dentists will be repeated across the country if more practices are able to take on new NHS patients, industry leaders fear.

Police intervened this week as hundreds gathered outside a surgery which opened its books to NHS patients in Bristol.

The British Dental Association (BDA) says there are 12 million people trying to access a dentist in England and any new appointments are likely to give rise to similar scenes.

Labor said patients were queuing up because they were ‘desperate’ for care.

A video posted on social media on Monday appears to show police officers telling people the queue is ‘done’. A crowd gathered outside St Pauls Dental Practice for a third day yesterday but was turned away.

Crazy queues for dentists will be repeated across the country if more practices are able to take on new NHS patients, industry leaders fear

Crazy queues for dentists will be repeated across the country if more practices are able to take on new NHS patients, industry leaders fear

Police intervened this week as hundreds gathered outside a surgery which opened its books to NHS patients in Bristol

Police intervened this week as hundreds gathered outside a surgery which opened its books to NHS patients in Bristol

The operations manager of the operation told the group that there would be no more walk-in registrations and to register by email instead.

Eddie Crouch from the BDA told Sky News: ‘We have 12 million people seeking access to NHS dentistry. So what that (queue) visualizes is the sad state the service is in.

‘There are towns across this country where we will see a repeat of the scenes we saw in Bristol. The police may want to thank the government that budgets are so tight that we won’t be seeing many grand openings anytime soon.’

The comments came as the Government and NHS published a dental recovery plan, which aims to provide 2.5 million more appointments.

Health Minister Victoria Atkins said the measures would mean dentists could 'turn their closed signs to open' and welcome more patients, but critics warn they do not go far enough

Health Minister Victoria Atkins said the measures would mean dentists could ‘turn their closed signs to open’ and welcome more patients, but critics warn they do not go far enough

A video posted on social media on Monday appears to show police officers telling people the queue is 'done'.  A crowd gathered outside St Pauls Dental Practice for a third day yesterday but was turned away

A video posted on social media on Monday appears to show police officers telling people the queue is ‘done’. A crowd gathered outside St Pauls Dental Practice for a third day yesterday but was turned away

Health Minister Victoria Atkins said the measures would mean dentists could “open their closed signs” and welcome more patients, but critics warn they do not go far enough.

Dental teams will deliver teeth strengthening treatments to 165,000 pupils in deprived areas.

Dentists will also receive a ‘new patient’ payment of up to £50 for providing check-ups to a million people.