Hundreds queue in Bristol for NHS dental care as new practice opens

Hundreds queued outside the shop when in-person registration opened. Credit: BPM Media

Hundreds of people have queued outside a new dental practice in the St Pauls area of Bristol in hope of registering as NHS patients.

The long line formed along Ashley Court, outside the former Bupa Dental Care site, which has now been renamed Saint Pauls Dental Practice. Bupa Dental Care closed in June last year. One woman, Maria, said she had been queueing outside the practice since around 8.30am, after she was left unable to see another dentist when the practice closed.

"The dentist has been closed for some time. I couldn't get into any of the other dentists - the appointments were fully booked, the waiting lists were too long.

"I'm also a carer - although I'm nearly 80 - and I think it's important to keep up with good healthcare."One of my neighbours - she's facing an operation for cancer tomorrow. She'll be somewhere in the queue."

It was announced by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) last year that SGA Services Ltd would take over the practice.Maria said: "This, really, was a godsend until it closed. I don't know how they could have closed it down."

Ashley Ward councillor Amirah Cole said it was "exciting" to see the dental practice reopen.

"The dentist has finally opened, Bupa Dentist - which closed over nine months ago - is now opening back in the area," she said."The queue is very long," Cllr Cole added, saying it was "exciting for all of us" to see the practice open once again.