Second blow for Spalding’s NHS dental patients
There’s a second blow for NHS dental patients in Spalding with news that the planned opening of a brand new surgery in December has been called off.
In Thursday’s Spalding Guardian we revealed NHS England had failed to launch its promised “caretaker” service at Johnson Community Hospital on September 1, the day after 1A Dental closed its practice there – although an urgent care centre was set to open at the hospital on Saturday.
... we are making every effort to overcome this setback ... to increase NHS dental services in the area as quickly as possible.
In July, we reported NHS England had commissioned a new practice to operate at another site in town to be run by Rodericks Dental.
But Rodericks has pulled out after failing to agree terms with NHS England.
Rodericks managing director Shalin Mehra said yesterday: “We had to withdraw from the tender last week. We won the tender, which we were really delighted about, but we could not agree on the terms. To be perfectly honest it wasn’t sustainable.”
Mr Shalin explained NHS tendering has changed in the year to now and that had made a major difference.
The new service was to run seven days a week, 8am-8pm, but that meant recruitment became an issue.
Mr Shalin said: “It’s very hard to recruit dentists in the area and it is because of that we could not make it work financially.”
He said Rodericks remained committed to the idea of opening surgeries in areas where there is a shortage of NHS dentists and committed to the NHS.
Reader Wendy Kirk says the lack of replacement for 1A Dental, and the news about Rodericks, leaves Spalding people in “dire straits”.
She said: “I personally have been directed to Boston or Peterborough to register with an NHS dentist which is not an acceptable option for me as I don’t have transport.”
Di Pegg, from NHS England, said: “We were very disappointed to be informed by Rodericks last week that they had withdrawn from the contract, delaying our plans to ensure the people of Spalding had more NHS dental services.
“We appreciate that patients are similarly disappointed and wish to assure them that we are making every effort to overcome this setback, including working with the Local Dental Network and Lincolnshire Healthwatch, to increase NHS dental services in the area as quickly as possible.”
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