"NHS Dental crisis goes from bad to worse" says Rochdale MP

February 21, 2006 2:22 PM

Rochdale's MP Paul Rowen has reacted angrily after it emerged that the town's last NHS Dental Practice in Rochdale is to go private. Balderstone Dental Practice on Balderstone Road will no longer treat NHS Patients-only from April 1st 2006. Hundreds of residents across Rochdale Borough received the New Year Letter that they were dreading when the letter from the practice confirmed many residents fears. Paul will be raising this issue in Parliament this Tuesday in a debate on the new NHS Contracts.

Paul Rowen MP said, "This is an April Fool Joke gone badly wrong, residents have been advised they face travelling to either Bury or Blakely. Many people simply cannot do this, I have every sympathy with the Dentists, to see the final NHS Practice convert to a private practice should shame this Labour Government. People will remember the situation in Langley, Middleton late last year when people - many of whom were from Rochdale queued from 4am. This decision will leave many residents worried about future dental care - it is simply unacceptable."

Paul has pledged to continue his campaign in Parliament to make the Government make good its promise that anyone that wanted an NHS Dentist would get one - a promise they made back in 1999. Paul said, "Have they not now proved hollow words by a Labour Government simply incapable of keeping their promises. I will be writing to the Department of Health demanding a meeting - this crisis cannot continue - the NHS Dental Crisis goes from bad to worse not just in Rochdale but across the Country!"

People may remember last year when Paul forced Minister for Health Rosie Winterton to admit that the Government were not making any progress at all with NHS Dentistry. Paul then requested an urgent meeting to discuss the NHS Dental Crisis - Paul will now step up his efforts to bring attention to the crisis at the very heart of the Government.

Meanwhile, Balderstone and Kirkholt Campaigner Dale Mulgrew has accused the Government of letting down the people of Rochdale. He said, "It's not just in Balderstone and Kirkholt but across the Borough - residents face a stark reality: Either pay nearly £150 a year or face huge queues miles away from their homes. NHS Dentistry continues to get worse and the fact that the last surgery dedicated to providing this service is closing is a sad day for the Borough!"