£330,000 boost to help patients get appointment with new dentist
Health bosses have been given £330,000 to make it easier for people across Leicestershire and Rutland to get an appointment with a dentist.
The Department of Health cash will be used to fund appointments for new patients.
Helen Stubbs, senior dental contracts manager for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland primary care trust, said: "This is excellent news for our area's patients and we urge people to make use of this extra funding by asking for an appointment.
"With dental problems, it is always wise not to wait until things get worse until you get examined and have any necessary treatment.
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"This funding is only available to use until March 31, and it is for dentists taking on new patients to their practices, so it is not for existing patients who already have an NHS dentist."
A further £240,000 has been made available for schemes to help improve dental health, such as children's oral health projects involving school nurses and health visitors trained to deliver oral health messages.
This element of the extra funding also covers advertising campaigns and literature, as well as tooth brushes and toothpaste packs for Sure Start centres, where parents can get advice on health.
A helpline has been set up to assist patients to find a practice that has appointment slots.
For patients in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland the number is 0116 295 7270, and is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Patients can also log on to the NHS Choices website to find a dentist.