What’s happening to the NHS dentists in Kent?

Sam visited his dentist last week for a check up and was told that his surgery and it’s sister surgery was closing in a Ramsgate, leaving 16k patients desperately trying to find a new one. Hundreds of people have expressed their concern over finding a new dentist in posts I’ve seen shared online as Sam’s surgery at Newington health centre and its sister practice Church Hill Dental Practice by Ramsgate town centre will close their doors in March 2018. Church Hill’s 5-year contract will end on the 31st March, 2018, and although staff has mentioned they will send out a letter recommending where to go next, fears are rising as to what we can do.

Due to the treatment I’m receiving, I’m currently under a dentist in Canterbury, but with all these dentists closing down, I’m starting to get worried how this will affect the service offered for Emily. There are, of course, other routes we can go down, but with Thanet already being one of the most deprived areas in Kent, why isn’t the area being considered for better healthcare, instead of hung out to dry with little care as to what happens next.

Realistically there is no way that 16k patients are going to be able to go to many of the few dentists in the area and become part of the database. Dentists are so few and far between down here, it’s not like London at all registering for a dentist, you can wait for months (Like I experienced when I moved here), so putting added pressure of all these patients on an already suffocating healthcare system is extremely worrying. What are our options? There has been a petition set up where some 1250 signatures have expressed anger, upset and concern of how this will affect people – you can sign it here, but if the petition fails, then what? I don’t mean to sound negative but so much more needs to be done to fight for a better healthcare system to an area that is already drowning under the pressures of teenage pregnancy, an overpopulated accident and emergency and now an increase in closures for dentists.

It seems to be whilst the NHS struggles to keep afloat, more and private surgeries are popping up in the hope that more patients will come their way. But this seems rather ridiculous considering most of Thanet’s folk aren’t exactly rolling in it. Private dentistry isn’t cheap and unless you have a dental plan in place paid for by some rich aunt or the company you work for, private treatment is so expensive and sometimes even extortionate, depending on the treatment received.

Are you experiencing or problems or know of any closures in your area? Would love to hear from you…

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