Thousands left in the lurch as dentist closes

Financial problems and personal issues led to the closure of a Mylor dental practice, it was announced this week, leaving thousands of patients in the lurch.

Honor Richardson, the contract holder for Mylor Dental Practice on Passage Hill, Mylor Bridge, gave notice of her intention to cease treating patients from February 8, it was revealed yesterday (Tuesday).

Three months’ notice is usually provided in such circumstances but a spokesperson for NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said it was “understood” that the early closure has been forced by personal and financial issues.

The practice was under contract to treat up to 4,000 NHS patients although it was under achieving in the number of appointments it was offering.

Mrs Richardson has written letters to her patients informing them of the closure and asking them to register on the dental waiting list – which already has around 1,000 people on it.

One Mylor resident and former patient greeted the news of the closure with a complete lack of shock.

He said: “We left that dentist a few years ago because we were unhappy with the service and we are not surprised that it’s now closed.”

The practice has been criticised in the past, with three out of four comments on the NHS’ own website giving it a negative review.

The Care Quality Commission also found that improvements were required in standards of staffing at its last inspection, last year.

According to its report, there were questions raised over whether people were being cared for “by staff who are properly qualified and able to do their job.”

Bridget Sampson, from the NHS Commissioning Board, said they were “very sorry to be losing another dentist in an area where we have many people waiting for places with an NHS dentist.”

She said the Primary Care Trust has ensured “adequate funding” to increase capacity and promised at least one new dental practice in the Falmouth and Helston area.

Anyone who is seeking an NHS dentist now has to leave their details on an answer machine by calling 01726 627990.

If you need emergency dental treatment, contact the emergency helpline on 01872 354375.

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