NHS practice closures forcing patients into 30-mile round trips

NHSDental patients from Bury St Edmunds could be facing 30-mile round trips as NHS practices become overwhelmed.

The pressure on NHS dentists has come after one Mydentist practice closed in the area and another stopped accepting any more NHS patients.

Buryfreepress claims that patients will now have to face a 30-mile round trip to register at their nearest available NHS practice.

‘Bury has joined a growing list of communities failed by a broken NHS dental system,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielson, chair of the BDA’s GDPC, said.

‘These access problems exist because funding is set aside for barely half the population, while our contracts effectively cap the number of patients we can treat.

‘It’s ludicrous that residents are facing 30-mile round trips when local practices with capacity are forbidden from doing more.’

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A recent investigation by The Times found that millions of NHS patients are struggling to get a dental appointment.

The investigation uncovered that 24 local authorities in England aren’t accepting any more NHS dental patients, according to the NHS Choices website.

Of the surgeries with information on the NHS Choices website about whether they are accepting new NHS dental patients, 49% aren’t taking any further adults and 42% are refusing to see any more children.

‘Access problems are now hitting patients across England, but officials would rather brush them off than fix the rotten system at their heart,’ BDA chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said at the time.

‘Work on expanding access and encouraging child attendance is vital, but it is disingenuous to suggest that Government plans can achieve this.

‘Without new resources NHS dentists are being asked to swap one group of patients for another.

‘This isn’t about dentists turning their back on NHS dentistry.

‘For over a decade this failed system has turned its back on them.’

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