Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dentist Ending NHS Service

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dentist Ending NHS Service

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Pensioners fear they will be left without care

More people needing dental care are being turned away as another North East practice has gone private, closing NHS lists.

David Surtees and Associates, in Whitley Bay, is the latest to reject new Government contracts, which dentists claim will not provide enough cash for quality care.

The Whitley Road practice has been providing care on the NHS for more than 27 years.

But their patients, who cannot afford private care, say they now have nowhere else to turn.

North Tyneside Primary Care Trust say their NHS patient lists are closed until they have finished talks over the new contracts.

Pensioners Ivy and William Phillips, of Cullercoats, have been going to the practice since it opened and now have nowhere else to go.

"It's terrible news as we've been getting all our treatment on the NHS and we just can't afford to go private," said retired pitman Mr Phillips, 78.

"My wife would go every six months and now they are saying they can only serve a few people in the local community.

"I'm 78 now and Ivy is 75 so we need somewhere nearby and we've searched all over Tyneside ( including Jarrow and Hebburn ( and everywhere is saying they are going private or their NHS lists are full."

Out of the 29 dental practices in North Tyneside, six have decided to take on children only as NHS patients and another has said it will not be taking any NHS patients at all.

In a letter to patients David Surtees and Associates said: "This decision is the result of a continued lack of Government investment in NHS dentistry and the imminent introduction of new contractual changes, which I feel will no longer allow me to provide an acceptable level of care for my patients."

Patients are being offered different packages by David Surtees, under a system called Denplan Care, which will see pensioners like Mr and Mrs Phillips paying pounds 19 a month. …

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