: Waiting for next track...

: Waiting for next track...

Health bosses to be questioned over lack of NHS dentists in Harrogate and Craven

Health bosses to be questioned over lack of NHS dentists in Harrogate and Craven

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 6:06am 20th May 2018.

Public health bosses have been called to appear before an influential committee over the lack of NHS dentistry across North Yorkshire as it emerged residents in some areas were travelling out of the county to get treatment.

The annual meeting of North Yorkshire County Council at County Hall in Northallerton heard despite plans for temporary cover as NHS dentists closed, residents in a number of areas had been unable to get treatment locally for up to 18 months.

The authority’s executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing, Northallerton councillor Caroline Dickinson, said she understood the issues residents were facing as her dental practice had closed.

She added NHS England officers, which commissions dentistry, and Public Health England had been requested to provide an overview of provision of NHS dentistry across North Yorkshire and how they were responding to gaps in provision at the council’s Scrutiny of Health Committee next month.

Councillors said there was “a complete absence of NHS dentists taking on patients” in some areas of the county.

Councillor Geoff Webber added:

“You cannot register anywhere in Harrogate and Knaresborough. The nearest NHS dentist that I am aware of is in Bradford.

“Members might think dental health is not a hugely significant issue, but not too long ago we had a homeless man who eventually died of what started as a dental problem.

“In addition, we have over 20 Syrian families living in Harrogate, who have for some years been denied dental health treatment in Syria. They are coming here with young children and it is essential they are given the facilities.”

Councillor Philip Barrett said after the NHS dentist in South Craven closed down residents had been forced to travel to Lancashire and West Yorkshire for treatment. He said:

“Residents were left to their own devices to get sorted out. It has caused a lot of problems there.”

Councillors said they feared the situation would not change following members questioning the public health bosses next month and urged the council’s leadership to intervene over the issue and “exert influence”.

By Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting

More news from across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale