Lack of dentists forces Scarborough practice to close leaving patients struggling to find care

More Scarborough residents have been left scrambling for a place on already overloaded NHS dentist waiting lists in the wake of a local practice shutting.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:34 am

Patients at {my}dentist on Dunslow Road, Eastfield, have been told their practice will close at the end of next month because it cannot recruit enough dentists.

There are fears the closure could compound the struggle to find an NHS dentist that has plagued Scarborough for years.

The borough’s ongoing NHS dentists saga made national news back in 2004 when hundreds of people queued round the block to sign up to a newly opened practice in New Queen Street.

{my}dentist on Dunslow Road is to close at the end of April.

One {my}dentist patient told The Scarborough News he has not been able to find another NHS dentist taking on new patients any nearer than Kirkbymoorside – 25 miles away – and even there he would need to join an 800 people-long waiting list.

The borough‘s MP has made a plea for dentists to come to the area and help ease the problem.

“In the last 15 years as an MP, I’ve had many letters from people complaining that they can’t get an NHS dentist,” said Robert Goodwill.

“I would make a plea for any dentist who wants to practise as an NHS dentist to come and set up in Scarborough. There’d be no shortage of patients. They’d be busy from day one.”

Dentist Andy Moran, of Peasholm Dental Practice.

But Principal Dentist at Peasholm Dental Practice, Andy Moran, who has been working in Scarborough since 1992, said it is not as simple as setting up more practices for NHS patients.

Since 2006, practices have been limited as to how many NHS patients they can access funding for.

“People will struggle to find an NHS dentist. It’s very regretful,” he said.

“It saddens me that people will have to travel further for dental treatment.”

He said the Dunslow Road practice closure will be the second in Eastfield in the last few years and follows the shutting of another {my}dentist practice in New Queen Street.

Ian Gordon, Chairman of the North Yorkshire and Yorkshire Regional local dental committees, said Brexit has meant practices have been struggling to staff NHS work.

Before the referendum, he said, around 18 per cent of dentists operating in Britain were EU dental students who would carry out around 30 per cent of the NHS dental work.

A spokesperson for {my}dentist said only the Dunslow Road practice in Scarborough is closing. The {my}dentist on North Marine Road practice will stay open.

“In common with a number of dental practices across the country, we have faced difficulties recruiting enough dentists,” said the spokesperson.

“This, alongside increased running costs, has forced us to make the difficult decision to close our practice on Dunslow Road in Scarborough from April 30.

“Our teams are working hard to complete open courses of treatment while adhering to all Covid-19 safety guidance.

“Patients are being informed of the closure as well as where they can continue their dental treatment after April 30.”