September ’20 Healthwatch Portsmouth statement to the press

“Healthwatch Portsmouth have been and are extremely worried and concerned at the reduction of NHS Dentists in the City, this is an issue we have followed over the last year especially since a previous company suddenly left. Many local people contacted us and made their thoughts and feelings clear to us about the sudden loss of NHS dentists. This spurred us on to get a seat at the right table where the real decisions are made.

We have been active participants in the whole of the local NHSE Dental Procurement process working closely with the Procurement NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, so when others locally have been merely talking we have been actively involved in getting new NHS Dentists in the City. The Dental Procurement process is almost finalised and was only briefly paused during the Pandemic. We hope there will be good news very soon on new NHS Dentists/Dental Providers in the South and North of the City, this will greatly help with the worrying figures showing a decline in the number of NHS Dentists in the City which we feel must reflect our dreadful situation caused we feel by services being very unexpectedly and suddenly lost. Once we hear officially about a target date for the new services to start we will ensure everyone knows ”

02.09.20 Roger Batterbury (Healthwatch Portsmouth Chairperson)



July ’20 NHS England update: plans to finalise long term dental contracts in Portsmouth:

NHS England (NHSE) have received and evaluated bids for contracts to provide general dental services in the city and following this process have identified preferred bidders. There has been a delay in awarding the contracts due to managing the response to Covid-19 but we are now continuing the process and aim to award contracts by the end of July.

This is some 6 weeks later than originally planned due to consideration of wider procurement issues and the impact of COVID-19 on NHS capacity. It was originally envisaged that the successful bidder would have 3-6 months to mobilise the new contracts and start to deliver services. However, as a result of COVID-19, and the potential financial impact to providers, it will be necessary to undertake additional due diligence. This is to ensure that preferred bidders are still in a position to proceed and to asses any revision to mobilisation timescales in light of the impacts of COVID-19 (e.g. delayed building works, workforce issues etc).

This will be completed in discussion with the preferred bidders to enable the resilient provision of services at the earliest possible time and therefore aim to avoid the need to enter into a re-procurement process. The timeline for contract start is as yet unknown and cannot be determined until discussions have taken place with the preferred bidders and COVID-19 impacts are understood.”