Dumfries and Galloway NHS dentistry difficulties deepen

Thousands of patients in Dumfries and Galloway will no longer be registered with an NHS dentist from early January next year.

The Gardenhill practice in Castle Douglas has notified 4,400 people of its plans to close in January.

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) said it was “not good news” for people in the region.

It said the closure came at a time when the area faced a “very serious situation” in terms of NHS provision.

Director of dentistry Alison Milne said: “This move comes after the closure of a Castle Douglas dental practice in October 2021 which affected 1,500 patients as well as the reduction in NHS dental care being provided by the other dental practice in the town in spring 2022.”

She said they were aware that the issue was one of the public’s most “pressing concerns”.

“Ultimately, dentists, like GPs, are independent contractors who are awarded contracts to provide services on behalf of the NHS,” she said.

“We continue to work to encourage and support dentists to take up contracts.

“In some circumstances we can even support with provision of premises, as is the case with this practice which operates out of Gardenhill Primary Care Centre.”

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