Rishi Sunak secures pledge on NHS dentistry in Catterick Garrison and Richmond

Health chiefs have pledged to maintain local NHS dentistry funding and commission new providers in Catterick Garrison and Richmond following pressure from MP Rishi Sunak.

The Richmond MP wrote immediately to NHS England last week after it emerged that My Dentist is to close its practices in the two communities. He urged them to act swiftly to plug the gap in services.

Following talks with NHS England dentistry chiefs yesterday Mr Sunak said he had secured a pledge that the funding used to pay for NHS services at My Dentist would not be lost and instead transferred to other dentists nearby.

He said: "I am aware the announcement about the closure of the My Dentist practices has caused concern for existing NHS patients using those practices but also those who wish to register for the first time.

"So was I very pleased that NHS England Yorkshire and Humber will maintain our local funding levels and have approached other practices in the Garrison and Richmond with a view to them taking on the work."

Mr Sunak said he had made NHS England aware he was keen to see no interruption in dental services as a result of the closures. He was pleased to have been told the NHS was confident it could have replacement services up and running before My Dentist closed its doors in April if other providers could provide the necessary capacity.

He added that a review of NHS dentistry provision in Yorkshire was underway and he was currently pressing the NHS to make available incremental funding to further bolster dental services in the area.

"My first priority was to make sure the funding for NHS dental services in Richmond and Catterick Garrison was retained and that has been secured," he said. "The review of NHS contracts is an opportunity to gain additional funding for services in this area and I have already started making a strong case for that."