A FORMER patient of Bondgate Dental Practice in Helmsley has said the NHS system is ‘seriously broken’ after being unable to get urgent treatment.

Hannah Ward, 30, a patient with the practice since she was three years old, said she had been unable to find a NHS practise after the Helmsley surgery suddenly closed in September.

She said: “I am now left without a dentist, during a pandemic where none are taking on patients in need of a root canal.

“I have been offered temporary emergency treatment but still need an NHS dentist to take me on and finish the treatment. I cannot afford to go private and do not see why I should have to given the fact that i had an NHS dentist who was simply allowed to close and neglect its patients.

Hannah added: “I am phoning all dentists from North Yorkshire down and across the M62 and I am being laughed at when asked if practises are taking on patients.

“The NHS system of dentists in this country is seriously broken if practises can say no to you as NHS patient, but yes come spend £500 and we can do it next week.

“It is all about money and no one is looking out for the public health interest here. Practises will not clear the covid-19 back log of NHS patients if they receive a huge financial incentive to treat them privately.”

Patients of the Bondgate Dental Practice were sent a letter in September from NHS England saying the NHS dental contract had ended and the surgery was closed.

More than 330 local residents have since joined a Facebook group, Save Helmsley Dentists, calling for the practice to be reopened.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said arrangements have been made with three local dental practices to provide appointments for all patients who have previously been seen at the Bondgate Dental Practice.

He added: “This may mean some patients have to travel a short distance, but I am told that appointments have been ringfenced specifically for those patients.

“If you were a patient at the Bondgate surgery you should have received a letter from NHS England to explain how you can access urgent dental care at one of these practices.

“Unfortunately regular dental care is not currently being provided. However, when routine, regular dental care does resume you will be able to access this at the same three practices. This is a time limited, temporary arrangement whilst NHS England undertakes a procurement for a new primary care dental service which will be located in Helmsley. This new clinic will be commissioned to open in 2021.

“I will continue to keep the pressure on NHS England to make sure a permanent solution is found as soon as possible.”