Wiltshire Publications

Westbury patients’ anger as NHS dentists run out of funds

RESIDENTS in Westbury say they are ‘outraged’ after dentist appointments in the town were cancelled until April due to NHS funding running out. 

Several local people have contacted the White Horse News angry and frustrated after appointments they made months ago were cancelled with what patients felt was “no sensible explanation.”

The reason for all NHS appointments in the town throughout March being cancelled is because the allocated funding for the financial year has been exhausted.

One patient who had their recent NHS appointment cancelled said, “Our appointment was made months ago and we can’t rearrange another appointment for five weeks.

“Friends had their appointment cancelled and weren’t able to rearrange until May! It is terrible patient care by dentists who are presumably trained under the NHS but don’t have enough respect to treat people who can’t go private.”

Another angered resident said, “A leading dentist I know has said the reason why the dentists are cancelling NHS appointments is because they have run out of money until April. Basically they’d be working for nothing if they have completed their quota for the year. Ridiculous system we are in currently! This is bad news for all NHS patients in Westbury who have appointments before the financial year end. Totally unacceptable!”

A Dentalcare spokesperson said, “Dentalcare Westbury is working with NHS England to look at the possibility of increasing our capacity to treat NHS patients. We alerted the NHS as soon as we started to get close to our existing maximum capacity and as a result, NHS England is looking at the possibility of providing additional funds to help support the increasing demand.

“Whilst these discussions are under way, Dentalcare is offering patients the option of attending a nearby practice, also within the Dentalcare group, which is still able to offer NHS appointments, both routine and emergency.

“The Dentalcare group is committed to delivering a high quality service to all its existing patients, and if the funding is available, to new NHS patients.”