NHS England confirms new dental contract for Northumberland villages

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NHS England has awarded a new dental contract that will serve NHS patients in rural Northumberland villages.

There has been a great deal of concern over the future of dental services in the area since the closure of a dental practice that served Hadston and Rothbury in 2017. The contract holder was forced to cease providing NHS services due to personal reasons, and patients have not had access to care on their doorstep since. Although the tendering process began in October 2017, NHS England failed to find a suitable provider, with a number of applications, which didn’t make the grade, rejected.

NHS England has now appointed a new provider on a 7-year contract, which also offers a 3-year extension option. There will now be a 6-month initiation period, which will enable the provider to recruit new staff and ensure everything is ready to start treating patients at the beginning of December.

Although many people are pleased with the news, one local councillor has expressed his frustrations at the lack of provision for residents in Hadston. The new contractor, Northumbria Dental Care Limited, will provide services at Bridge House, Rothbury and The Mansle in Amble, but Cllr Scott Dickinson is unhappy that Hadston will not have a dental surgery.

Cllr Dickinson said that he has raised the issue of dental access a number of times and highlighted the fact that the previous practice in Hadston had been refurbished and was attracting a large number of patients before the contract was unexpectedly terminated. One of Mr Dickinson’s main concerns is that people might not be able to afford to travel to Rothbury and Amble.

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