A Haywards Heath dental practice ‘pushed to breaking point’ is reassuring its patients.
Sami Butt, 35, owner of S3 Dental in Haywards Road, said his practice has seen a huge influx of patients after another practice in the town announced it was closing.
NHS England South East said Mydentist in the town remains open for treatment until the end of January 2019.
Sami told the Middy: “Mydentist in Bolding Way has decided to close and has written to all of its NHS patients and told them to go elsewhere.
“Within a week I had over 100 patients call up trying to register with us.
“As a practice we are supposed to take care of 8,500 patients, but we are now taking care of 9,500.
I want to reassure my patients that I am working as hard as possible.Sami Butt
“We can’t get any more dentists in because of funding, which is an issue in the area, and our funding is based on 8,500 patients.”
Sami said his patients have been complaining because they are having to wait so long for an appointment. “It is really tough – we have been pushed to breaking point,” he said.
“I want to reassure my patients that I am working as hard as possible.”
Sami has been managing the dental practice with his brother since 2004.
He said he thought they would be able to deal with all of the patients but when 200 people booked in online in one week he was ‘shocked’.
“People are booking in like crazy,” he said.
“We have the space but we just don’t have the funding. It is stressful and we have not had any communication from the NHS.”
An NHS England South East spokesman said: “Patients do not register with a dentist as they would with a GP practice so they can choose to have dental treatment in a location which suits them, for example, they may choose to visit a dentist near to where they work.
“Dental practices make the decision on whether or not they are able to take on new NHS patients and can choose not to take on anyone else if they do not have capacity for this, this is a decision for individual practices.
“If a patient is having problems finding a dental practice they can call the dental helpline on 0300 123 1663 who can then advise them of local practices currently accepting patients, however it is recommended that patients do so only when their next check-up is due.
“Mydentist remains open until the end of January 2019 so patients can still receive dental treatment from the practice until that time.”
The Middy has approached Mydentist for a comment.