Village dentist closes as practice availability crisis deepens
- Credit: Google Maps
A village will be left without dental care at the end of next month, with no nearby practices accepting new patients.
According to the NHS service search, no NHS dentists in the surrounding towns of Thetford, Attleborough or Diss are accepting new patients without a referral from a practitioner.
A MyDentist spokesman said: 'Unfortunately, but in common with a number of other NHS dental practices in the local area, difficulties in recruiting dentists and increased running costs have forced us to make the tough decision to close the dental practice.
'We are writing to all of our patients this week to inform them of the changes and offer them the advice provided by the NHS on finding alternative dental care, including details of a limited number of spaces available to patients at our sister practices in Norwich.
'It is anticipated that all open courses of treatment will be completed or appropriately referred before the proposed practice closure date of November 30 and we will be contacting patients shortly to arrange these appointments.'
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Simon Evans, Locality Director for NHS England, Midlands and East (East) said: 'NHS England is committed to ensuring everyone is able to access high quality dental care. We are working closely with our providers in south Norfolk to improve access to services, as well as actively exploring the future options for dental services in the area, both in the short and the longer term.
'Anyone who is not sure where to go for local dental services can find out by using the NHS 111 service, or by visiting www.nhs.uk.
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'People can access dental services from any dental practice of their choice, which is accepting new NHS patients. Dental practices constantly review their capacity so it is worth regularly checking back with practices in the area. Should you need urgent or emergency dental care, NHS 111 can be used for advice on where to go.'
Mothers Shauna Tate and Kayleigh Hill are among the East Harling patients.
Ms Tate said: 'I live on the road to Diss but this is the one I could get both my children into. And now it's
Ms Hill said: 'I'm just going to have to search for another I guess, which will probably be even further than the 30 minute drive - or just not bother.'