Lowestoft patients pressure PCT
PUBLISHED: 13:33 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 12:05 06 July 2010
MORE than 1,600 patients at a Lowestoft dental surgery have signed a petition calling on NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney to allow it to continue providing a "first class" service.
MORE than 1,600 patients at a Lowestoft dental surgery have signed a petition calling on NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney to allow it to continue providing a “first class” service.
An on-going dispute between NHS GYW (the local primary care trust) and Dr David Johnson of the High Street Dental Surgery has been referred to an independent adjudicator.
The PCT says it is unable to disclose details of the dispute but, in the meantime, the bidding process for the contract will continue.
Patients at the surgery, which has been operating in the town for more than 30 years, are fully supportive of Dr Johnson and his team.
They have started a petition and are asking all patients to sign it so that they can take it to the Department of Health to ask them to force the PCT to allow Dr Johnson and his existing dentists to continue providing what they describe as a “first class” dental service.
Mike Holroyd, a patient for more than 30 years, said: “Who in their right mind would what to destroy something that has been so successful? Whatever the dispute is between Dr Johnson and the PCT, it must be put to one side - a resolution has been put forward which ensures that it is business as usual for thousands of patients.
“The PCT states that they adopt world- class commissioning, but where is common sense and patient's wishes? Or is it about a cost-cutting exercise? If they want to save money, stop wasting money trying to fix something that isn't broken.”
Mr Holroyd said patients were determined to have their voice heard and would take it to the highest level if needed.
“We ask the PCT to get round the table with Dr Johnson to sort this out without spending huge amounts of money as the general public and patients bitterly object to their approach.”
Interim chief executive of NHS GYW, Paul Zollinger-Read, has written to The Journal to reassure patients.
“I would like to reassure the community that whatever the outcome of the bidding process, all patients currently on Dr Johnson's list of dental practitioners will continue to be able to receive NHS dental care locally. There will be no loss of provision of NHS dental services in the Lowestoft area.”
Mr Zollinger-Read said there were seven other NHS dental practices in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad providing general dental services, and five of these are currently taking on new patients.
Patients wishing to make their views known should contact Elaine Bond at email@example.com copying it to the CEO firstname.lastname@example.org and the complaints manager email@example.com heading it up as “complaint”.
To see Mr Zollinger-Read's letter and other letters on the subject see this week's Postbox on pages 28 and 37.