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Dental dispute continues in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 11:32 18 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:02 06 July 2010

SOME of the patients of the High Street Dental Surgery pictured outside the practice.

SOME of the patients of the High Street Dental Surgery pictured outside the practice.

PATIENTS at a dental surgery in Lowestoft facing possible closure have urged health chiefs to allow it to continue.

Dr David Johnson, of the High Street Dental Surgery, is in dispute with Great Yarmouth and Waveney NHS, and the contract is to be put out for tender.

PATIENTS at a dental surgery in Lowestoft facing possible closure have urged health chiefs to allow it to continue.

Dr David Johnson, of the High Street Dental Surgery, is in dispute with Great Yarmouth and Waveney NHS, and the contract is to be put out for tender.

Dr David Johnson, and his new partners Dr Lyndon Isaacs and Dr Carol Lightfoot, are taking encouragement from the overwhelming support of all their patients. They are determined to repay their loyalty by ensuring that they do everything they can to keep the contract.

More than 2,500 patients have signed a petition in support of the current practice.

Basil Thorington, 84, has been a patient at the practice for the past 30 years, and said the dentists at the High Street Dental Surgery are first class.

“The volume of letters that The Journal has received and the number of signatures on the patient petition surely shows the strength of feeling and total bewilderment of the patients that the PCT should be seeking to spend unnecessarily by putting the contract out to tender.

“Surely common sense can prevail and I'm hopeful that the surgery can continue,” said Mr Thorington.

Dr Johnson said: “We are constantly being told about patients being given a choice and many of our patients choose to come to our practice - if we go then `choice' becomes fiction. We have put a resolution to the PCT who have got bogged down in bureaucracy. Gordon Brown is now telling us that there will have to be cuts in public expenditure so why are we wasting money in conducting a tender when it is blatantly not necessary.”

James Elliott, director of commissioning at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “Whilst we understand the concern of patients about this matter, as set out by our chief executive, Paul Zollinger-Read's letter to The Journal on September 11, there is a dispute between Dr Johnson and NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

“This has been referred to an independent adjudicator. We cannot discuss the merits of this dispute in public. As a public body with responsibilities to all patients in our area, we don't consider it appropriate for us to conduct this dispute through the media. We will wait for the decision of the adjudicator before any further comment can be made."

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