Dental centre moving into long-closed surgery

A dental surgery closed for more than a year is opening its doors again.

A campaign for a new NHS dentist at Darlington's Firthmoor Centre began when the Burgess and Hyder practice closed in March 2023.

Last November, the local NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB), responsible for commissioning NHS dental care, highlighted recruitment difficulties and said it was working to improve access to dentistry.

This week, the ICB said an urgent dental access centre at the surgery is now offering a limited number of appointments to patients referred through 111.

David Gallagher, chief procurement and contracting officer at the North East and North Cumbria ICB, said the temporary centre aimed to "take some of the pressure off existing services".

He said it is currently in a "testing phase" and would not deal with routine needs or check ups.

"This service will be for urgent needs only – things like severe dental pain, broken fillings or cracked teeth," he added.

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