Dental patients left with a gap in service

A DENTAL surgery has closed unexpectedly, leaving up to 2,000 patients without a registered dentist.

Headlands Dental Care in Kettering has shut its doors and a recorded message tells patients they are no longer providing NHS services and that the surgery is closed.

It is believed the surgery failed to meet a deadline to register with the Care Quality Commission – a legal obligation – and is therefore no longer allowed to treat patients.

The surgery shut on April 11 but the first most patients heard about it was when they were officially informed by NHS Northamptonshire, which has overall responsibility for commissioning dental services.

The Care Quality Commission is a Government body that ensures high standards of care are met by health organisations including hospitals, care homes and dentists.

It has only recently started inspecting dentists, and all practices had to register by April but the Headlands practice failed to do so.

A spokesman for NHS Northamptonshire said: “65 Headlands Dental Practice did not register with the Care Quality Commission, which is a legal obligation to be able to provide dental services.

“We have therefore had to terminate their NHS contract.

“We are making alternative arrangements for existing patients and are writing to them all individually.

“We apologise for any inconvenience to patients.”

Patient Janet Marchand, 60, of Cranleigh Road, Kettering, said: “I’m concerned about it because I would like to stay with the NHS and my dentist Miss Rose.

“I look forward to getting some information.”

Mrs Marchand, who is also secretary of Headlands Area Residents Association, said in 20 years as a patient she had always been happy with the service she had received.

She said: “I never had any complaint or issue with the quality of work, which was wonderful.”

Mrs Marchand said her husband needed work earlier this month and had to get it done elsewhere as the surgery was closed.

She said: “I’m very upset.”