Craig Mackinlay MP has been assured by NHS England that the dental service in New Street, Sandwich, will not come to an end in March 2019 and will continue until such time as a permanent solution is found.
The South Thanet MP today received the assurance after pressing the Director of Commissioning Operations at NHS England South, Felicity Cox, on the matter last month.
The dental needs assessment has now been completed and NHS England have identified a number of areas across Kent, Surrey and Sussex where they are planning to procure new practices or increases to existing ones, including Thanet. NHS England will undertake a wider consultation in the next few weeks and put forward proposals to the Kent Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for discussion. Following this they will look to more widely engage with local communities to ensure they are able to provide feedback on the proposals before commencing procurement.
Previously, Craig raised the closure of Church Hill Dental Surgery in Ramsgate at Prime Minister’s Questions days before the five year contract between NHS England (South East) and Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust ended on 31 March this year. The practice served 8,000 patients, but no replacement was put in place.
Craig Mackinlay MP commented:
“The feedback I am receiving from my constituents suggests that NHS England’s efforts to address the inadequate dental provision in Ramsgate in particular, and South Thanet more generally, are falling far below the expectations local people need, want and deserve.
“Until today, and specifically in respect of the contract for the New Street Dental Practice in Sandwich which was due to expire in March 2019, we had received no information as to the steps that have been taken to ensure the contract is either renewed, or, failing that, that adequate alternative provision is put in place.
“Therefore, this temporary reprieve for the service in Sandwich is welcome, but our fight to reverse the lack of NHS dentistry locally continues.”