A re-branded NHS dental practice is now taking new NHS patients in Harrogate just months after the town was faced with endless waiting lists.
Will Harrogate's new NHS dental practice serve demand?
At the end of last year new patients could only recieve NHS dental treatment in Harrogate by referral from a dental practitioner.
But by next month Harrogate will have six new NHS dentists serving the district from the premises of one re-branded practice.
Commissioning Lead of Dental Services for NHS England in the north, Constance Pillar, said part of the problem with provision had been around dentists handing their contracts back to NHS England.
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She said: “Specific areas affected are Harrogate, Catterick and Richmond and Keighley, and coincidentally they were all owned by the same company providing dental services.
“I think they have done some remodelling and have been looking at some of their practices that were not as profitable for them and so they decided that they could no longer carry on.”
Harrogate Dental Care has now taken over the premises of MyDentist on Hookstone Park, and started seeing patients from the beginning of June.
Harrogate Councillor, Geoff Webber, said he has been ‘battling’ for better NHS dental provision in the district for nearly two years and welcomed the news that a practice is now taking new patients.
He said: “At the end of last year when I called NHS England, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of their’s, there were no NHS dentists taking new patients in Harrogate.
“When I put the question to them on one occasion the expression was ‘no you’re quite right you’ll probably have to go to Bradford’.”
But now the newly rebranded and ‘clinician run’ practice in Harrogate is up and running with four working dentists and is promised to soon have a total six full time surgeries.