Bus campaign drives home message about dental access

A bus advertising campaign in Bradford is aiming to drive home the message that it’s a lot easier to see an NHS dentist than many people think.

Access to NHS dental care is being advertised on buses across Bradford and Airedale as part of an awareness campaign to encourage more local people to find an NHS dentist.

Adverts with the message: ‘It’s a lot easier to see a local NHS dentist than you might think. And it’s getting easier every day’ have been put on 40 buses with routes around the district.

NHS Bradford and Airedale wants to tell people that NHS dental places are available and how they can find them.

NHS Bradford and Airedale has been improving dental services to encourage more people to see a dentist – and the figures show the plan is working.

In March 2006, 274,000 people had visited a dentist in the previous two years.

By last September that number had risen to almost 286,000 – a 4% increase.

The extra dental places mean that the PCT no longer has a list of people waiting to be offered a dental appointment.

Catherine Thatcher, deputy director of primary care at NHS Bradford and Airedale, said: ‘Dental access is much better in Bradford and Airedale but there is a lack of awareness among the general public.

‘Our aim is to offer on-going preventive dental care to all patients who wish to see an NHS dentist and our high levels of investment have created thousands more places. The new dental practices have substantially increased access and many other practices are also increasing their capacity.

She adds: ‘The practices on www.nhs.uk all take on new patients from time to time. Sometimes people may have to wait until new places become available at the practice of their choice, or choose a practice further from their home, but dental care is available in the district.’

In the last 18 months three new practices have opened, with a fourth set to open soon in Manningham, near Bradford City Football Club.

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