Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

The very existence of NHS dentistry in Dumfries and Galloway is under threat, according to South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth

His comments come after NHS Dumfries and Galloway announced today (1 December) that Blue Door Dental practice in Dumfries would cease providing NHS services from March next year to 5044 patients. The move comes as three of the five dentists in the practice announced they would cease NHS adult services and only provide private care.

The move follows the recent news that a dental practice in Thornhill had become the latest to axe NHS adult services from 24 December, impacting on 3800 patients. Previously Gardenhill Dental Clinic notified patents that they will close at the start of next year, leaving 4400 patients in the Castle Douglas area without an NHS dentist and Gretna dental practice stopped the provision of adult NHS dental services from 10 November, affecting 2400 patients.

Colin Smyth said, “This is a massive blow to NHS dental patents in Dumfries and realises the fears I had over the domino affect closures are having. It just seems to be one dental practise after another axing or reducing NHS services and the Scottish Government are like rabbits caught in the headlights. They have no ideas or plans to deal with this crisis. As a result the very future of NHS dentistry in Dumfries and Galloway is under threat.

“Patients in Dumfries will have to join many others across the region in either having to pay for private care or try to find another dentist that provides NHS care but that is almost impossible locally. It is effectively the privatisation of NHS care in Dumfries and Galloway.

“I am really angry that the Scottish Government have failed to wake up to the growing dental crisis.

“The double whammy of the UK Government’s Brexit, which has meant there are almost no EU dentists coming to the UK anymore,  and more significantly the Scottish Government’s failure to properly fund dentists means this isn’t the first practise to reduce NHS services and it certainly won’t be the last. I expect many others to follow.

“Both Governments have been warned over and over that this would happen but they have completely ignored those warnings.

“Unless both governments face up to this crisis in our area, it is only a matter of time before no adult in our region will have NHS dental care.”

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