Local MP voices concerns over decision to stop NHS dental services at Billingham practice

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A local MP has voiced his concerns over plans for a Billingham dental practice to stop offering treatment to NHS patients.

Queensway Dental, which has been providing NHS services for 25 years, will only cater for private patients from April 1st. The practice currently has more than 11,000 NHS patients on its books. Patients have been advised to enter into a payment plan or find an alternative NHS dental provider. From the 1st April, patients who do wish to stay will be faced with the prospect of paying much more for treatment. The cost of a crown will rise from £255.30 to £575, while the price of a routine check-up will leap from £20.60 to £45.

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North, said that he is “extremely concerned” by the news, which will leave thousands of patients needing a new dentist. He has called upon the government and NHS England to try and identify a solution to ensure local people have access to NHS services once the practice closes.

The move has also been criticised by patients, who now find themselves facing a choice between finding a practice that has places available or paying higher fees.

Mr Cunningham said that he was informed that there are many local practices accepting new patients, but stated that research carried out by his office had suggested otherwise.

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