Mobile NHS dentist van could be heading for East Devon after county health chiefs secure a specialist government-backed vehicle

A mobile dentist van could be coming to a town or village in East Devon in 2025 following NHS Devon’s announcement the county had secured one of 15 specialist vehicles.

Devon is to be given a dental van to help tackle the treatment crisis in hard-to-reach areas, writes local democracy reporter Bradley Gerrard.

The county’s integrated care board (ICB) is one of just 15 in the country to receive a specialist vehicle at some point in the next year.

Nigel Acheson, chief medical officer for NHS Devon, said the van would be part of the Government’s dentistry national recovery plan, and would go to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents in the county.

Software would help map part of Devon most in need of dental services so the van goes to places where dentistry provision is worst. But there’s no set date for it to start.

Mr Acheson said work is being undertaken to “streamline the advice and support people can get in an urgent situation” through the 111 system and that the county is developing a plan to help alleviate pressure on the county’s dental services.

Speaking at Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing board, he said the county’s health service is looking to increase recruitment by targeting funding for dentists in areas that have historically struggled to hire and retain staff.

It also wants to pay a premium to dental practices to treat patients who haven’t seen a dentist for more than two years, and also offer one-off payments of up to £20,000 over three years for around 240 dentists working in under-served areas.

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