The news this morning told us pretty well what we already knew, the new NHS contracts haven’t helped with supplying NHS dentists.
For a year or so we had an NHS dentist that we were seeing in Wokingham. They had newly set up a few years back having apparently emigrated from South Africa Then a few weeks after the new contracts came in, Beth got a letter inviting from the practice saying that although they still supported the NHS, they unfortunately had decided that they were no longer able to offer sound preventative dentistry under the NHS and instead offered Beth a chance to sign up for the dental insurance policy offered by the practice – stating that all subsequent NHS appointments would be cancelled. Note in particular that I wasn’t mentioned anywhere, nor was I invited to join their scheme. My feelings were very much that they’d used the NHS to build up a client base, and then on that basis were trying to get a good customer base for a sustainable business. My feelings were further backed up by the fact that I – who hadn’t needed any dental work – wasn’t invited but Beth who had needed several things done was.
Anyway, we didn’t reply to the offer and thought nothing more about it until the practice phoned me up to confirm I was coming to my appointment that was booked for after the changeover. It was a pretty short conversation it has to be said. Furthermore having come across people like our friend Phil who found that private Dentists are not exactly accountable trying to stay in the NHS seemed like a good idea.
Our current situation is that we are not properly registered with a dentist anywhere, however Beth has had treatment under the NHS from the one remaining NHS dentist in town, and she got that by going through the PCT as mentioned in the BBC article today. That actually seemed to work fairly well. As to our former NHS dentist, if the selection of cars the dentists are now driving is anything to go by, are doing very well.