Thousands of people in Gretna to be left without a dentist as NHS service pulled

Credit: PA

There is frustration in the south of Scotland as patients who were let go from NHS treatment at dentist in Gretna struggle to find new dental care.

2,400 patients will be deregistered from the surgery on 10 November and will have to pay to continue being seen there.

Pamela Blakeman is one of the patients previously registered in Gretna who has had her NHS treatment pulled. She works as a contractor and cannot afford private dental fees.

Pamela said: "I feel really let down. I don't have that kind of money to pay for dental care.

"I don't know where to go. I don't know any of the NHS dentists. I can go and join unless I pay private so I know what I'm going to do. I'm probably going to wait until it gets really bad. If I get really bad pain then I'll contact someone."

There are recruitment issues in dentistry across the UK Credit: PA

Pamela and other patients have told ITV Border they have tried to find alternative NHS dental care, to no avail.

In a statement released through NHS Dumfries and Galloway, the practice blamed the move on recruitment issues faced across the UK.

The Scottish Government also issued a statement, saying: "A record number of people are registered with a NHS dentist, more than 95% of the population of Scotland. We remain in a position of relative strength in terms of workforce numbers and capacity.

"Specific incentives have been put in place to support the recruitment of dentists in remote and rural areas and we are continuing to provide NHS dental services with an unprecedented level of financial support."