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Dental practice pulls NHS care

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Dental practice pulls NHS care

A DENTAL practice in Gretna is stopping offering NHS treatment for adults.

Patients at Gretna Dental Practice in Central Avenue have been notified of the move, which is being blamed on recruitment issues.

It will take effect on November 10 and will affect about 2400 adults, who will find themselves no longer registered there unless they take up private care.

The practice website currently shows there are four members of staff: two dentists, an orthodontist and a specialist oral surgeon. They offer general dentistry, prosthodontics, orthodontics and oral surgery.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway yesterday said the change comes amid a well-documented shortage of NHS dentists which is being experienced nationally.

A spokesman said: “The move by Gretna Dental Practice follows recent public warnings from Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership that constraints around access to NHS dental services within the region were likely to increase in the short term.

“Gretna Dental Practice have noted that issues around recruitment have played a significant factor in their move away from provision of NHS dental services.

“NHS patients who receive notification from Gretna Dental Practice will therefore need to seek alternative provision.”

He added: “NHS Dumfries and Galloway continues to work with dental practices to support all their efforts to attract dentists to take up opportunities within Dumfries and Galloway, but there is no immediate, easy means to address a situation being experienced not just in Dumfries and Galloway but nationally.”

Meanwhile, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said the news “must act as a wake-up call to both governments of a growing dental crisis”.

He said: “This news is a bitter blow to thousands of patients in the Gretna area who will now be forced to go private if they want dental care locally.

“The double whammy of the UK Government’s Brexit incompetence has led to a huge number of vacancies in dentistry and the Scottish Government’s funding cuts to dentists has made this move almost inevitable.

“What makes me angry is that both Governments were warned that moves such as this by dental practices would happen, but they have ignored those warnings.

“The local health board needs to work with patients to help them find alternative NHS provision as close to Gretna as possible and this must act as a wake-up call to both governments of a growing dental crisis.”

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