York’s dental crisis is set to deepen after another practice revealed it was to stop NHS treatment for adults.
Blossom Family Dental Care, based on Blossom Street, York, has written to its patients to inform them of the change.
The change will take effect in April.
In its letter to patients, Blossom Family Dental Care, which is owned by Denbond Ltd, says: “Following much thought and consideration we have made the very difficult decision to reduce our NHS commitment, this is largely due to the increased difficulty in recruiting NHS dentists and the chronic lack of funding the NHS is providing.
“As of the 1st April 2024, our team will cease to provide NHS care for adults, instead, we will be able to provide your dental care on a private basis and to aid this transition we have introduced a patient membership plan which will enable you to spread the cost of your routine care with us across the year through regular monthly payments.
“We hope that by making these changes we can retain our current members of staff therefore guaranteeing you see the same dentist in the future.”
The letter goes on to give more details about the private membership plan. It costs £18.65 a month which includes two dental health examinations and two hygiene appointments a year, and 10% off most treatments.
The team add: “We will continue to prioritise children of our patients on the NHS for as long as we are able.”
In November 2023 the practice said it was unable to accept any more applications for children’s NHS places due to high demand.
The news comes just weeks after a report to councillors noted that the number of York adults seen by a dentist in the two years leading up to June 2022 had fallen to 38% – down from 54% in 2018.
The number of children seeing a dentist had fallen from 75% to 56% in the same time period.
Councillors said there was “a chronic shortage of NHS dentists in York” and that the service had “reached a breaking point”.
In its 2022 report Dentistry in York – Gaps in Provision, Healthwatch York noted a 30% decline in the number of residents with a dentist.
Rachael Maskell, the Labour MP for York Central, has called for a dental summit to address what she labelled a “dental crisis” in the city.