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Police called after hundreds of people queue for six hours to try and register with an NHS dentist
5 February 2024, 16:56 | Updated: 5 February 2024, 17:16
Police have been forced to intervene after hundreds of hopeful NHS patients queued around the block in an attempt to sign up to an NHS dentist in Bristol.
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The dentist, located in the St Pauls area of the city, had been the subject of a crowdfunding campaign in recent months after it closed its doors in June last year.
However, news of the reopening rapidly spread, with hundreds of people seen queuing along the street in a bid to sign up as it reopened nearly nine months on.
Police were forced to attend the scene as numbers grew, with PCSOs closing the queue and turning away new prospective patients.
The practice saw long lines trail down Ashley Court, the road where the dentist is located, and around the block.
Huge queue forms to see dentist in Bristol
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) announced last year that SGA Services Ltd would take over the practice, located in an area of the city in desperate need of NHS dentists.
People could be seen waiting calmly as the line wound its way along the pavement - despite the slow moving nature of the queue.
Hopeful patients could be seen queuing from as early as 8.30am when news of the opening spread.
One patient named Maria, aged 80, had queued outside St Paul's Dental Practice since 8.30am.
She spoke of how she'd been unable to see another dentist since the Bupa dental practice closed under previous ownership in June of 2023.
It comes as North Bristol NHS Trust saw 235 patients enter their emergency department with dental abscesses between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
Members of the public continued queueing long into the afternoon in a bid sign up.