York dentist scraps NHS care for patients to focus on private treatment

A York dentist will no longer provide NHS care to her patients from September.

Hopkins & Poyner Dental Practice’s Victoria Poyner sent a letter to patients telling them she will stop providing NHS dentistry from September 1.

Instead, Ms Poyner, whose practice is in High Petergate, will focus on delivering private dental care so she can give patients “the time and care they deserve”.

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Patients have been offered a plan to continue with the dentist if they pay £17.33 per month.

Hopkins & Poyner Dental PracticeHopkins & Poyner Dental Practice
Hopkins & Poyner Dental Practice

An NHS dentist is expected to be available at the practice in around nine months.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, said: "Last week I cross-examined the dental minister over her flawed recovery plan, and was able to ascertain that there is no new money set aside to support NHS dentistry and no plan to reform the NHS contract in the near future, waiting until after the general election, and a new government is in place.

“This is a disgraceful response to the dental crisis and sits behind the reason as to why so many dental practices are handing back their NHS contracts and going private.

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"Labour has committed to ensuring that NHS dentistry is available to everyone and has said that on the Monday morning following a general election, reform will start.

“Not only introducing an oral health prevention strategy but to scrap the old dental contract and work with the profession on a new solution.

“New patients are being asked to wait up to seven years for a dental appointment in York, by which time tooth decay has set in.

"Poor oral health is now recognised as a major point of infection and resulting in patients needing the NHS for wider services due to other bacteria-based diseases like sepsis.

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“The failure to sort out NHS dentistry is a disgraceful stain on this government’s legacy."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our recovery plan will create 2.5 million more dental appointments this year by offering cash incentives to dentists taking on new NHS patients and golden hellos of up to £20,000 to encourage dentists to work in underserved areas.

“Backed by £200 million in 2024/25, the fully funded plan will support practices to deliver on their obligations and provide more NHS care for patients.

“The government already invests more than £3 billion each year to support NHS dentistry, and we are starting to see progress.

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"Last year, 1.7 million more adults and around 800,000 more children saw an NHS dentist compared to the previous year.

“The government is also developing further recommendations for dental contract reform to reflect the care needed by different patients.”

Hopkins and Poyner Dental Practice did not respond to a request to comment on the letter.

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