Current access

NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) became responsible for commissioning (purchasing) local dentistry services in April 2023 when NHS England delegated this responsibility.

Access to NHS dentistry in Gloucestershire is very challenging and we are working hard to try and improve the situation for residents.

In Gloucestershire, there are 77 NHS dental practices. Unfortunately, none of these practices are taking on any new NHS patients at the present time.

Plans for improvement – Primary Care Dental Strategy

We are actively working with dentists in Gloucestershire, with help from patient representatives, to bring more services on board as we fully recognise that demand for care outweighs the available appointments currently provided.

A Dental Strategy Group was established in January 2023, with representation from Healthwatch, patients, Gloucestershire Local Dental Committee, NHS England, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC), Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHT) Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) and NHS England South West Dental Network colleagues.

The group is developing a Primary Care Dental Commissioning Plan for the county, setting out our plans to deliver consistent, high quality dental services and care.

The plan will focus on three key areas – access, workforce, and oral health improvement and aims to:

  • Increase access to NHS dentistry across Gloucestershire, particularly in some of the county’s most deprived areas
  • Work with One Gloucestershire health and care partners to improve recruitment, retention, and training for all dental staff (e.g. general dental practitioners, hygienists, technicians, and therapists), offering more flexible training and working opportunities and making Gloucestershire a desirable place to live and work
  • Work with our communities to improve the oral health of people across the county, with a particular focus on health inequalities, children, and older people.


Our first priority is to secure additional appointments for patients with urgent needs, and we have written to all 77 NHS dental practices inviting them to take on more NHS dentistry with funding to support this.

Our longer-term priorities include an increase in the number of NHS appointments overall and to provide NHS dentistry to care home residents.

Background information about access to NHS dental services

Dental practices are independent businesses, often providing a combination of NHS and private dentistry.

Patients are not registered with a dentist in the same way they are with a General Practitioner (doctor), and individuals can access services at a dental practice located in any area if the practice is accepting new patients.

Practices providing NHS treatment are listed on Each practice updates their information on

Urgent dental care

If an individual has an urgent dental need, there are arrangements in place to ensure that those who do not have a dentist can access an urgent dental appointment. Patients should contact NHS111.

Community dental services

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust provides and manages in-hours appointments for patients with an urgent dental need who do not have access to an NHS dentist.

This service is for patients in need of relief from acute dental pain, infection, bleeding or trauma. GHC also manages out of hours appointments for Gloucestershire, providing appointments at weekends and bank holidays at Springbank Dental Practice. This provision does not currently support patients without a regular dentist who are experiencing dental problems that are not considered urgent. 

Hospital dental services

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides oral and maxillofacial surgery, including outpatient orthodontic treatments and inpatient planned and emergency procedures.