All NHS patients at Goyt Valley Dental Practice in Whaley Bridge have received a letter in which the practice says it is unable to continue treating people on the NHS and instead offers them the chance to sign up to a new payment plan.
For one patient, Joanne Taylor, this news comes as a real blow.
She said: “I am very dental phobic so this is a real nightmare for me as I liked Goyt Dental and the idea of going to a new dentist scares me.”
Joanne says she thinks she was one of the last patients to see the dentist before the news was announced.
The 56-year-old from Buxworth said: “I know I have been very lucky to have had an NHS dentist for so long.
“It seems as the backdoor privatisation of dentists continues it has become the norm for people to not have an NHS dentist.
“When families are already struggling with higher bills this couldn’t have come at a worse time for many people.”
She says that for her and her partner it would cost £18.50 a month to stay on the books at the Chapel Street practice.
“It’s a disgrace – the government is not putting people’s health needs first before profits.”
She added she feels sorry for the staff at the practice who are dealing with the brunt of the fall out.
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He said: “In my discussions with Goyt Valley Dental Practice, I understand this is largely driven by their failure to recruit a new NHS dentist, despite trying for over 12 months.
“A big part of the problem is there are simply not enough NHS dentists. We need a serious drive to improve both the recruitment and the retention of dentists.
“In terms of the immediate situation at Goyt Valley Dental Practice, I have already written to both NHS England and the Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, in particular to try and safeguard NHS dentistry for children.”
He added: “I will keep working with local dentists, the local NHS and making the case for urgent reform in Parliament.”
Goyt Valley Dental declined to comment when questioned however a letter sent to patients has been seen by the Buxton Advertiser.
It said: “We have provided NHS dentistry since 2008, however it has come to a point where the practice is not sustainable under the NHS model of care.
“There is an emphasis in the NHS for seeing new patients which means less availability of appointments in an already stretched service to our existing patients.
“The pressures of providing NHS dentistry means dentists are increasingly unwilling to work within the NHS and we are therefore unable to recruit and retain sufficient dentists to provide a viable NHS service.
“As such we have made the decision to move away from the NHS and will no longer be seeing patients under the NHS from December 1 2022.
“Instead we will be here to provide your dental care on a private basis.”