Patients at a city centre dentist are scrambling to find another practice following a closure announcement.
My Dentist in Upper Goat Lane has sent letters to patients stating it will be closing for good on Saturday, December 31.
One patient who received a letter, and did not wish to be identified, said: “The dental crisis in Norwich has just got worse.
“We are NHS patients with them and we have just been told to ring 111 if we require another NHS dentist.
“They are only doing ongoing treatment until then. We now have to fund private treatment.”
A staff member at the practice confirmed all patients have been notified of the closure at the end of December.
She said the practice had been unable to recruit enough dentists in the area and the shortfall has meant they are no longer able to operate.
The staff member said: “Unfortunately it is a case of ringing around dentists in the area to try and find another practice.”
Green Party city and county councillor Jamie Osborn, who represents the Mancroft ward, said: “It is incredibly concerning for existing patients and those that are currently on NHS waiting lists that yet another practice is closing.
“Norfolk is one of the worst areas in the country for access to NHS dentists.
“This is creating a two-tier system where some people can afford to go private while others are resorting to pulling out their own teeth.
“The government urgently needs to resolve the shortage of dentists and reform NHS contracts to ensure that everyone has access to NHS dental care.
“If this is not resolved quickly, there will be even bigger issues with dental care further down the line as delays to dental care can push people into emergency health situations.”
Martin Schmierer, Green Party city councillor for the Mancroft ward, added: “I know people who are registered there and this must be deeply concerning to NHS patients.
“A cursory glance at the list of dentists in Norwich and even further afield reveals that they are not taking NHS patients unless they have a referral and many aren’t taking any NHS patients at all.”