HW Leicester is very pleased that so much of what we have been evidencing and pushing for about the need for more dental access over the last 2 years is now coming to fruition. This procurement will hopefully improve the access to dental services for the patients of Leicester City, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire which make up the Central Midlands area. Our colleagues in HW Rutland with whom we work closely with on the dentistry, HW Leicestershire and HW Lincolnshire will also see additional resources in their areas. NHS England have announced the preferred bids for the dental procurement process which began earlier this year.

The contracts – which include the provision of five new dental practices across Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland plus extended hours at an existing practice – represent an annual investment in local dental care in excess of £6.3 million, totalling more than £63 million over the 10-year* contract period.

Coming into effect on 1 December 2017, the contracts commissioned by NHS England Central Midlands will deliver the following NHS dental services in the area:

  • Five new practices providing general dental services (routine and urgent care) from 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year in Leicester Westcotes Ward, Leicester Castle Ward, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray and Oakham.
  • These services will be provided by JDRM Dental Care. Additional services will also be available across Lincolnshire in Lincoln, Sleaford and Spalding.
  • There will be extended access hours for routine and urgent care at Whitehouse Dental Surgery in Leicester’s Stoneygate/Evington ward, comprising two late evening sessions per week, plus a Saturday morning session. A similar extension of hours will also be implemented in Boston, Lincolnshire.
  • A special care dentistry service for patients with special needs throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. This service will be provided by Community Dental Services (CDS), which will be taking over the existing special care dentistry service from current provider Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust.
  • The Dental Access Centre currently located in Nelson Street, Leicester will be closed once the new contracts are implemented from 1 December 2017.

The Special Care Dentistry Service for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland provides services to children and adults. It is concerned with the provision of dental care and enabling the improvement of Oral Health for individuals and groups in society who have either a physical or mental, physical or social impairment or disability or more often a number of these factors. As such, care will be provided to patients who have a need beyond the skill-set and facilities of a General Dental Practitioner.

It also provides dental treatment under general anaesthetic in Secondary Care sites i.e. hospitals with access to Critical Care facilities for children who require multiple tooth extractions, children with complex health needs and who require restorative treatment for children when it is not possible to provide dental care using alternative treatment methods and for Adults with Special Needs that may impact upon their ability to co-operate. The service will also provide a Pain and Anxiety Management service for adults with severe anxiety or phobia and Domciliary Care for house bound patients.

The re-commissioned service will continue to be delivered from the give Community Clinics across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland . The  contracting term for General Dental Services and the Special Care Dentistry Service will be 7 years, with the option to extend for a further 3 years to provide stability to patients and providers.