St Pauls dentist: Massive queue for second day in Bristol after NHS practice opens

Hundreds of people have queued up for the second day in a row. Credit: ITV West Country

Hundreds of people are queuing outside an NHS dentist in Bristol for the second day in a running.

The long line has formed along Ashley Court, outside the former Bupa Dental Care site, now renamed St Pauls Dental Practice. Bupa Dental Care closed in June last year.

ITV News' Lucy McDaid spoke to Shadow Culture Secretary and Labour MP for Bristol West Thangam Debbonaire about the dental crisis.

She said: "These long queues today and yesterday are symptomatic of what's happening up and down the country.

"In Bristol, I can't remember the last time I came across a dentist welcoming new registrations.

"It's outrageous. The nearest dentist that I could find today, to Bristol, that's offering new registrations, is 50 miles away and a two-hour public transport journey there and back. It's just not good enough."

  • Shadow Culture Secretary and MP for Bristol West Thangam Debbonaire speaking to ITV News' Lucy McDaid

Yesterday, 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.

She said: "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."

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) last year announced 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.

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