It is with deep regret that, with immediate effect, we are no longer able to continue providing routine NHS dental services in our Porthmadog and Llangefni clinics.
NHS dental services are provided under contract to the Local Health Board by independent dental care providers, such as West End Dental. Under these contracts, the provider accepts the full clinical and financial risk of delivering safe and effective care in return for a fixed amount of funding. The level of funding provided determines how much treatment we can deliver - this mechanism effectively rations the amount of care that can be provided, and can restrict the type of care that can be offered.
As a provider, we have struggled for a long time to reconcile the rationing of care with our desire to provide the very best service possible. The advent of COVID-19 means we now find it impossible to continue providing an NHS service.
As such, we have chosen to make the difficult decision to resign our NHS contracts with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). We have written to BCUHB and the resignation takes effect 30 September 2020. As an independent, family owned provider of dental care this is a difficult but necessary decision.
Ultimately, focusing on private care will allow us to spend more time with you as a patient, understanding your needs and wants, as well as offering a greater focus on long-term, preventative care.
We are aware this news will come at a difficult time for some. For those undergoing NHS dental treatment currently, we will do our best to provide care where we can do so safely and within the restrictions available.
Regretfully, we cannot offer any further routine consultations or appointments on an NHS basis.
We do have capacity to support a limited number of patients on a private basis.
To assist our patients as much as possible, we are pleased to launch our dedicated Essentials MembershiFor just £10 per month for adults, or £5 per month for children, Essentials Members can enjoy routine consultations, discounts on a wide range of treatments, worldwide accident & emergency dental insurance and access to emergency care.
Patients can also choose to attend appointments on a pay as you go basis, although we cannot guarantee availability of appointments or same day emergency care in this instance.
We've set out here some important questions you may have regarding NHS dental care.
If you are undergoing treatment, see I am undergoing treatment below.
Otherwise, we will be unable to offer any form of routine NHS appointments or NHS care effective 1 September. We are also unfortunately not able to offer any emergency dental care on an NHS basis during this time.
We will be happy to provide you with dental care on a private basis. We have limited capacity to accept new patients on this basis.
We have launched a new Essentials service to offer routine dental consultations and numerous benefits for a single, affordable monthly fee.
If you are currently undergoing NHS dental treatment, we will endeavour to complete this for you. However, there may be circumstances where this is not possible.
If you have commenced treatment, were subject to a Patient Charge and we cannot complete treatment for whatever reason, we will refund your Patient Charge to you.
Please call us on 0808 164 1003 in the first instance. We may be able to offer an emergency appointment on a private basis. If you are a West End Dental Essentials Member, access to such care is included as a benefit.
If you require an emergency appointment on an NHS basis, contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 for further guidance.
NHS appointments from 1 September onwards will be cancelled.
If your appointment is for treatment, it may be kept to enable completion of the treatment or we may require you to reschedule.
Historically, some dental practices were provided with 'children-only' contracts by the Local Health Board. This meant that practices could provide NHS care to children, but were only able to offer private services for patients.
It is however very rare for these contracts to exist today.
Our contracts were full service, meaning we were required to provide services to both adults and children. When this service ends, we are unable to pick and choose what we can offer - one must either provide a full service, or nothing. As a result, we cannot retain the provision of NHS dental care for children only. This is the policy applied by the Local Health Board, not by us.