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Anger at dental clinic closure plans

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By Thomas Hanley
Dumfries and West
Anger at dental clinic closure plans

PLANS to close Lochside dental clinic have been criticised - with accusations that the NHS deliberately ran down the service.

The claims came from South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and North West Councillor Ronnie Nicholson after NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s performance committee this week agreed to recommend that closure should go ahead.
Now the issue will go before the new Integrated Joint Board on July 27, which has the power to oppose the closure if it goes against strategic plans.
An angry Mr Nicholson said: “What is so flawed about this proposed closure is the fact that registration for the Lochside clinic has been closed for the past four years in what is an attempt to run down the service in one of our most deprived communities.
“There has been a clear move to make it look as if people from the area aren’t using the service when the reality is they have been prevented from doing so.”
Mr Smyth agrees and says the proposed plans are flawed and that registration should be re-opened for the clinic.
He said: “I know the NHS locally faces the daunting task of having to make cuts of over £20m due to a lack of funding from the Scottish Government, but the plan to close Lochside Dental Clinic is fundamentally flawed.
“Not only would it only save pennies, it reduces health care in the very communities we should be encouraging more provision. The NHS board and Integrated Joint Board should dump this closure plan and re-open registration to allow the local community to access dental care within their community.”
A spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “I can confirm that at the performance committee on July 10, it was agreed that the preferred option for the Lochside Dental Services review is to transfer all registered patients to other NHS dental provision within the Dumfries area.
“This issue will also be considered at the Integrated Joint Board in July, and the NHS Board, following consideration of the views of the Integrated Joint Board, will make the final decision on the future of provision of general dental services from the Lochside clinic at their August meeting.”

Dumfries and West

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