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Decision Made To Close Lochside Dental Clinic – Dumfries

At its meeting on the 7th August 2017 the NHS Board agreed the following option in relation to provision of routine NHS Dental Services by the Public Dental Service from Lochside Dental Clinic:

Complete withdrawal of routine NHS General Dental Services at Lochside Dental Clinic, with patients being supported to transfer to Independent Dental Contractor Practices for continued provision of NHS Dental Services.

A plan to implement this option will now be developed.

Until notified otherwise patients registered for NHS dental services at Lochside Dental Clinic should continue to access the clinic for ongoing dental care.

The NHS Board is committed to ensuring that patients of the clinic continue to access NHS dental care.

It is also focused on supporting improvements in the oral health of those living in the Lochside and Lincluden area through a range of approaches with key partners as detailed in the recommendations of the Lochside and Lincluden Oral Health Needs Assessment Report.

Any resident living in the Lochside and Lincluden area who is not currently registered with a dentist can contact the dental helpline on 0845 602 6417 for further information on NHS practices accepting patients.

Local MSP Finlay Carson has called for the retention of Lochside Dental Practice amidst fears NHS Dumfries and Galloway will scrap the service.

The fate of the practice is due to be decided at the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Health Board today (7th August).

In a letter to the Board, Carson calls for the dental practice to remain open, with every effort made to promote the service in the local community.

 

Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP said:It is hugely important that communities such as Lochside have the health services they need.
“I am disappointed to learn that constituents have not been given the opportunity to join a dental practice close to their homes. 
“How can we expect to improve dental health while closing down vital services in the communities that most need them.
“The Lochside Dental Practice should not go.”

South Scotland MSP and Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth has accused NHS Dumfries and Galloway of showing contempt for the community in North West Dumfries after members of the Health Board voted today (Monday 7 August) to close Lochside Dental Clinic- the last NHS salaried dentist in the region.

 

Colin Smyth said:

 

“People understand that the Scottish Government are trying to force local Health Boards down this route by encouraging them to close NHS salaried dentists in favour of supporting private dentists who take on NHS patients, but I suspect local people will be appalled that NHS services are being cut in favour of supporting what is essentially the private sector. A lack of funding from the Scottish Government has also left NHS Dumfries and Galloway with a £20m blackhole but the local NHS have already agreed funding for the clinic for the year ahead. So overall this decision is an unnecessary attack on one of our most deprived communities in our region and shows utter contempt for the local community by members of the Health Board”.

 

North West Dumfries Councillor Ronnie Nicholson echoed the disgust at the closure decision. Councillor Nicholson said:

 

“This is a real blow to the community in North West Dumfries. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will mean a lower take up in dental care by people in the area, where we already have huge health inequalities. The Health Board have been determined to close this dental practise for some time which is why they banned anyone registering for the past four years. Given that there are now no dental clinics anywhere in the town north of the River Nith, and no health care facilities in the heart of North West Dumfries at all, you have to question NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s commitment to the area”