AROUND 10,000 patients in York are believed to have been left without NHS dental care after two practices announced changes to services.
And York Central MP Rachael Maskell has denounced the government’s handling of the dental crisis – launching a parliamentary petition.
According to Ms Maskell, two dental practices have written to patients saying they are either going completely private or are no longer accepting NHS appointments for the foreseeable future, leaving around 10,000 York patients unable to receive NHS dental care.
One of York’s dental practices no longer accepting NHS appointments, Perfect Smile Clinic in Acomb, has written to patients to inform them of the changes.
The letter, seen by The Press, reads: ‘We have lost the majority of our NHS dentists and do not appear to be finding replacements.
“Over 6,000 patients do not have an NHS dentist assigned to the practice. Then there are another 2,000 patients on our waiting list, who have never seen us but need an NHS dentist.
“We will send a communication to patients to let them know that we are unable to offer NHS care to these 6,000 patients.”
Ms Maskell has launched a petition calling on the government to step in and overturn the current ‘unenforceable’ NHS dental contract, in an urgent effort to stop dental practices going into the private sector.
She says the NHS dental contract has “completely failed”, saying all oral health services must now be fully reintroduced into the NHS through a properly funded national dental service.
Ms Maskell said: ‘The situation for many in our city is truly horrific. I have had contact with residents living with untreated abscesses, broken teeth, and even those who have resorted to extracting their own teeth with household tools. Many parents worry about their children’s oral health and are completely beside themselves.
“It is shameful that the government has allowed this to happen and I will not sit idly by while the very services we all rely on are corroded.”
Healthwatch York published a report in January showing that only 59% of York residents had an NHS dentist, down from 84% in 2018.
Meanwhile, Councilor Carol Runciman, executive member of adult health and social care at York City Council, said NHS dental services had been ‘underfunded and overstretched’ for more than a year. a decade now.
“It is crucial that NHS dental practices receive local support through the new integrated care system and ongoing reorganization, alongside urgent reform of the way dentistry is commissioned and delivered nationally,” said she declared.
The press has contacted Perfect Smile Clinic and the government for comment.
Ms. Maskell’s petition is available at: https://bit.ly/33OQ0Vq