Home > NHS, Sedgefield > NHS Dentistry Returns To Sedgefield

NHS Dentistry Returns To Sedgefield

As a NHS dental patient, I was very sad to see the former village dentist take his attic practice out of the NHS and into the Church Of Mammon. I’m not surprised that so many people have been practising DIY dentistry, or that my local area hospital dental specialists have noticed an increase in “emergency admissions” that would have routinely been dealt with at the coal face, prior to the mass dental exodus.

Not all is lost to NHS patients in Sedgefield though, as the Sedgefield PCT have been working with a local NHS dental practise to provide Sedgefield with dentistry again. The plan is to build a surgery on the land occupied by the mechanics workshop on the corner near the fire station. While out walking my dog the other day, I noticed that the dental practise have installed a couple of discreet “land acquired” signs, so this plan seems to be well under way.

There seems to have been some concern on the part of locals about issues of car parking surrounding this development. Thinking about it, I don’t think there will be too much of a problem as there appears to be plenty of space available. I do recall parking in the church car park opposite on one occasion, and being told off in a very unchristian manner by a passing Methodist.

If car parking does become a problem however, there is a solution available that would improve matters.

Get rid of the chicanes / raised flower beds / traffic “calming” obstructions on Durham Road.

Categories: NHS, Sedgefield
  1. Alun Rees
    January 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

    The reason that your local dentist has ‘taken his practise (sic) into ….Mammon’ is in order to be able to practice his profession to the best of his ability. The new NHS contract was imposed by the government in April 2006, without consultation or negotiation. It has introduced targets, imposed a cash limited system and made dentists view patients as “Dental Unit generators”.
    There has been obfuscation and deliberate misleading of the public by the Dept of Health (Disease).

    The PCT will spend large amounts of tax payers money to provide a core service.

    If you want a cheap job. Caveat Emptor.

  2. January 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Firstly, my former dentist sent me a letter explaining all that, except that he explained that it was the PCT that he was unhappy with.

    Secondly, what should the 2 million or so people without access to dental care do?

    What about the people who cannot afford private health care?

  3. Alun Rees
    January 23, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Responsibility for provision of NHS care has been devolved to local suppliers, PCTs in England, LHBs in Wales. The PCTs decide who gets contracts and how much they will pay. it is possible for a dentist to have to run his practice at a loss so bankruptcy is a possibility. The PCTs have not invested in the practices, in Sedgefield for instance all the risk, all the borrowings, the rent, wages, running costs are the solely the responsibility of the dentist who owns the practice. At the introduction of the NHS medical practices were in effect nationalised and doctors were paid by HMG for the purchase of their practices. Dentists remained independent. With the most recent changes any dentist who embraces the contract has had any ‘goodwill’ value removed from the practice. Try to think of dentistry as ophthalmics rather than medicine and it is easier to comprehend.
    Do not expect clarity from government, it is not in their interest to be truthful. The spin that is produced by DoH is always going to be stronger than the truth.
    I think the dentist in Sedgefield should be applauded by deciding that he wants to practice dentistry to the best of his ability without interference from pettifogging local pen pushers.

  4. January 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    NHS patients can go to the Optometrist in Sedgefield for eye care, and prescription lenses, spectacles etc.

    NHS patients cannot get dental treatment in Sedgefield.

    How do you feel about that?

  5. Jut
    February 7, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I’m pissed at the state of NHS dental care. In the south of hampshire you will NOT be able to register as an NHS patient.
    I have not been able to get a check up for 4 years now:(

  6. Alun Rees
    March 31, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Obviously the Optometrist has some NHS funding whilst your dentist has not been granted any NHS funding. Why not ask your ex-MP why he was able to make a promise that everyone would be able to see an NHS dentist years ago?

    How do I feel about that? It’s very sad that this government have started the selling off of NHS services to large corporate bodies with dentistry but have no fear the remainder will follow soon enough.

    I think that you really need to see the writing on the wall and instead of adopting an ‘oo isn’t it awful’ approach accept that the repeated hacking away at NHS provision has been going on since 1950 when a Labour administration introduced plans for Dental & Prescription charges in their budget. They were voted out before their introduction but the Tories didn’t change any of the Labour plans. Incidentally the charges were introduced in order to free up funds for another stupid war. The budget plans led to the resignation of Nye Bevan, Harold Wilson & John Freeman from the Cabinet.

    Most dentists deeply regret the changes they have had to make, dentistry is an easy target, dentists perceived as rich etc, funny how nobody resents the incomes of doctors, vets, football players, pop stars etc.

    People complained about fees when the maximum charge went up from £8 to £9 in 1981. Price has always been used as an excuse for non-attendance, particularly in people who can’t be bothered to look after themselves.

  7. April 1, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Actually Alun, you can get NHS treatment at any optician, so your analogy really isn’t good enough. You will find it impossible to get NHS treatment at a Church of Mammon dentist who has abandoned his or her NHS patients.

    As far as I can see, dentists claim to not be able to treat NHS patients as they can’t afford their premises, staff, training, equipment, fancy cars, foreign holidays, marketing campaigns and fancy reception areas on NHS payments. I can’t understand that. Are the NHS fees insufficient? Are the experts who decide that sort of thing dishonest?

    What should the two million people who can’t afford your fees do Alun?

    I have decided to write another post about dentistry in the near future. Keep your eyes open.

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