June ’21 update
Healthwatch Portsmouth have just heard today that the Smile Dental Care practice at 2, Hanway Road, Portsmouth PO1 4ND which was due to open on 1st April 2021 has been open since 1st June and is able to offer up to 21,500 ‘units of dental activity’ a year. Delays in opening were due to problems the practice faced in delays to access a Care Quality Commission inspection visit and sign-off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Patients wishing to join a dental practice in Portsmouth can contact the practice on 023 9323 3177 but we have heard that the phone line is busy!
Additional capacity is being made available at Trafalgar Dental Practice on 1-3A London Road, Portsmouth PO2 0BQ until the delayed opening of Cosham Dental Surgery takes place. Patients who do not have access to urgent dental care can contact on the practice on 023 9266 5877 . The Cosham Dental surgery has been facing delays in joining the national Performers Dental List which would enable them to offer NHS dental services to patients. As soon as we hear that that the Cosham Dental Surgery (with capacity to provide 10,000 units of dental activity) will be open we will update this page.
November ’20 update
Portsmouth Dental Service Procurement – Update
Healthwatch Portsmouth is sharing information provided by the Wessex Area Dental Committee of NHS England to the Portsmouth Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting at the end fo November regarding NHS dental appointments availability in the city from next April:
As we previously updated, the original contract commencement date was paused due to COVID-19 restrictions which impacted on the completion of the procurement process. As you know we have been working with the preferred bidders in the two areas in Portsmouth to mobilise the contracts at the earliest possible date. We have now carried out additional due diligence and can confirm the Portsmouth South lot was awarded to Smile Dental Care Ltd on 29 October 2020. The premises at 2 Hanway Road, Portsmouth, PO1 4ND will not require D1 planning consent as the building is already being used as a medical practice. The successful bidder anticipates that building refurbishment will commence during November 2020 and complete early March 2021. Recruitment of the dental practice staff should complete during February 2021. Providing that the CQC are able to carry out a practice inspection as soon as the refurbishment is complete, it is anticipated that the practice will open on 1 April 2021 with a capacity to offer 20,000 NHS appointments. Whilst this may seem a lengthy time for refurbishment to take place, it is necessary to ensure that contractors and associated staff involved in the refurbishment are working within strict COVID-19 guidance and social distancing measures; it is not anticipated the current lockdown will impact on the refurbishment due to the guidance the contractors are following. However, we would point out at this time that if there are further lockdowns or key personnel are unwell, or must self-isolate, this position may change.
Regarding the Portsmouth North procurement was completed in early November and a formal contract awarded on 10 November to Cosham Dental Surgery to provide NHS dental services starting 01.04.21 providing an additional 10,000 units of dental activity. An extension is being built to the existing premises that has been providing only private dental treatment. Additional space is being built to provide for health promotion and training.
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.”