Hucknall councillor alarmed at lack of dental options in the town after BUPA practice suspends NHS services

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A Hucknall councillor has expressed his concern at the lack of available NHS dentists in the town.

Coun Keir Morrison, Ashfield Council Labour member for Hucknall South, was speaking after the BUPA dental practice on Portland Road suspended all NHS services – it is not currently taking on new NHS patients, or treating its existing NHS patients.

The news has caused huge issues for the many NHS patients at the practice, as they now have to find a new dentist.

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However, the only NHS dental practice now available in the town is the nearby Portland Road Dental Practice.

Coun Keir Morrison is alarmed by the lack of dental services in HucknallCoun Keir Morrison is alarmed by the lack of dental services in Hucknall
Coun Keir Morrison is alarmed by the lack of dental services in Hucknall

The BUPA practice has blamed a national skills shortage and says it has four long-standing vacancies for NHS dentists it has been unable to fill.

But Coun Morrison said: “The provider points to a lack of staff that can provide NHS dentistry services, but suggests paid private dentist care which seemingly can be delivered as an alternative.

“Therefore, unless you have the money to pay for private care, you’re out of luck.

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"Here lies the problem with privatisation which is now extending to GP surgeries.

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“There are many skills shortages across many sectors and this is a challenge for organisations, but it’s funny how there’s always staff there to provide paid-for private services whether that be dentistry or health. Those who cannot afford to pay suffer.

“I’d like to know the extent of the salary and T&Cs these organisations offer when recruiting staff. Perhaps they could be a bit more generous to make the vacancies more appealing, or maybe they’re more concerned with widening profit margins. After all, isn’t that what privatisation is all about? Forget the service that’s being provided so long as it’s profitable, even at the expense of your health.

“It’s about time vital services such as health, mail, rail and energy were all brought back into public service and out of the hands of greedy profiteers. then we will have quality, accessible services for everyone and not just for a select few that have extra cash in their pocket.”

Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Hucknall, also criticised the BUPA practice’s decision and urged it to rethink.

Your Dispatch has contacted BUPA for comment.