Your verdict: it’s back to the dark ages for our NHS dental services
Our readers are voicing anger and disappointment over the lack of routine NHS dental services in Spalding.
One dad talked about a return to the dark ages, having waited years to get his children registered with an NHS dentist and then see it close, while a Holbeach St John’s mum revealed she took her son to St Ives because he “needed to be seen quickly” for treatment not classed as urgent.
Patient watchdog Healthwatch Lincolnshire has received 55 comments from people responding to last week’s front page story, where we urged readers to speak up on the “NHS dentist fiasco”.
Healthwatch chief executive officer Sarah Fletcher says all patients’ comments will be shared anonymously with NHS England, which is responsible for NHS dentistry, and the chairman of the Lincolnshire Dental Committee.
Ms Fletcher said: “I can safely say that all of them expressed concerns about the lack of dental services in Spalding and the surrounding areas; patients are asking where they can now find a dentist; and (are expressing) anger about the whole situation.
“Some people are telling us that they have had dental services all their life to find now there is none available which is unfair.”
1A Dental pulled out of Johnson Community Hospital on August 31 but NHS England failed to launch its promised caretaker service the next day.
Patients suffered a second blow in mid-October when it was revealed Rodericks would not open its planned NHS surgery in Spalding this December.
NHS England runs “urgent care” sessions at Johnson but patients needing routine treatments are ending up in Peterborough, Boston and further afield.
People contacting Healthwatch included a pregnant mum, a pensioner who has found himself without a dentist for the first time in his life and a resident who was told the nearest place to go for treatment was Oakham.
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To look for a dentist call Pals ON 0300 123 9553 or visit NHS Choices https://www.nhs.uk/pages.Home.aspx