Changes to Community Dental Services considered
Patients, staff and other key stakeholders are being asked for their views on plans to offer an improved specialised Community Dental Service in Leeds.
The referral-only service provides treatment for people whose own dentist can’t meet their particular needs. At the moment, 2,000 patients a year are seen in one of five part-time clinics across the city run by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
The proposal is to offer daily opening in three fully-accessible and equipped surgeries and to develop new services like injectable sedation so that fewer patients need to go to hospital for a general anaesthetic before they can have work done on their teeth. A home care offer will also be developed for certain people who find it really difficult to get to a surgery for dental treatment.
To create this improved and more accessible Community Dental Service, Leeds Community Healthcare, wants to offer clinics at Yeadon, Middleton and the Reginald Centre in Chapeltown only. Existing clinics at Armley Moor Health Centre and Beeston Community Clinic will be withdrawn because neither site is totally suitable for patients.
Leeds Community Healthcare’s Director of Operations, Sam Prince, said: “We will still be able to offer the same number of weekly appointments from three clinics and having our specialist staff working together from fewer buildings means we can offer longer appointments. This means patients may not need to come and see us so often. That should be great news for people who struggle with visits to the dentist and will free up more appointments for people who are waiting to be seen.
“ We’ve previously engaged with our patients about the Community Dental Service and they were clear that they are willing to travel within Leeds to get the specialised treatment they need. We believe the changes we want to make will allow our expert staff to deliver a service that better meets patients’ needs from fit for purpose, properly equipped clinics.”
Further details about the proposed changes and a short questionnaire are available here
Service users, their families and carers, local councillors and other stakeholders have been invited to comment and the survey will be open until 15 September. The Trust aims to have the improved service live in the autumn.