Patients at an NHS dentist in Harrogate have complained that they were not told about its proposed closure.
The patients claim Chatsworth House Dental Centre on Kings Road did not send letters to many of those who would be affected.
Under the proposals, patients would need to travel 1.7 miles to the practice on Starbeck High Street – a six-minute drive or more than 30-minute walk.
The Stray Ferret has taken the concerns of patients to both Chatsworth House Dental Centre and Target Dental Group. Both pointed to the other provider for a comment.
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One of the patients who has, along with her partner, been at Chatsworth House Dental Centre for more than 25 years said :
“I am in desperate need for a check up so I have been keeping a close eye on them but I had no idea about the proposed closure. It came as a bit of a shock because I have been there so long. Harrogate seems to be building a lot of houses but is not keeping up with vital services like dentists. It is quite frustrating.”
Chatsworth House Dental Centre has not formally approached the NHS with its proposal and it is unclear what the timescale is for the closure.
In the letter to patients, the provider said the merger would create a hub of dental services and “create an even greater patient experience”.
“Starbeck Dental Centre is situated in a modern spacious building. It is able to offer a broad range of services alongside full disabled access, modern facilities and easy access via public transport.”
How easy is it to get an NHS dentist in Harrogate?
The proposed closure of Chatsworth House Dental Centre will likely prompt fears about NHS dentist spaces in Harrogate.
Of the 11 NHS dentists in the town, only the Harrogate Dental Centre on Hookstone Park is advertising for new adult NHS patients. South Park Dental Practice is also advertising for child places up to the age of 18.
Currently, NHS dentists are not taking on any new patients because of the coronavirus pandemic. That could change by October, depending on guidance at the time.