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Avondale Dental Practice Goes Private 14 September 2004

The Department of Health and Social Security can confirm that it has received formal notification from Mrs J Gifford and Mr D Sharpe of the Avondale Dental Practice, Avondale Court, Onchan, that they have written to their adult patients giving three months notice of their intention to cease to provide NHS dental services. In the letters, the first of which was issued on 1 September 2004, patients are invited to join a "Denplan Essentials Programme", although children under the age of 18 years can continue to receive their treatment under the current NHS system.

Those patients who do not wish to accept the invitation from the practice to join their Denplan Scheme are advised to contact the Department on telephone number 642662 where their details will be recorded. The Department will arrange to assign those patients to an NHS dentist following the expiry of the 3 month notice period given by the dental practice. In the meantime, patients are reminded that the practice remains responsible for their dental care and any treatment they require up until that date.

Steve Rodan MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security, said:

"The Department is committed to the continuing provision of NHS dental services to the Island's population and every effort is being made to ensure that all patients will have the opportunity to access NHS dentists should they wish to do so.

"I am pleased to advise that amongst the steps that are being taken, a number of new clinic premises are in the process of being introduced with additional dental practitioners having been recruited into the NHS dental service, some of whom have already taken up post with others due to start in the near future. In the meantime, discussions with the Isle of Man dental profession are continuing so as to address the need for improvements to the NHS contract in order to secure a long-term commitment to NHS dental services by the independent contractors."

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