Leeds parents slam ‘scandalous’ NHS as hundreds of children left without dental care midway through orthodontic treatment

myorthodontist in Moor Allerton, Leeds, closed at the end of May after it lost its NHS contract

A number of parents contacted the Yorkshire Evening Post to say that they were given no prior warning that the provider of their children’s treatment had lost their contract and that they would need a new source.

Many of the children were midway through wearing their braces and getting treatment for their teeth when the NHS contracts changed hands at the end of May. Parents have said that they have been unable to access a provider in the city and are now being asked to travel as far away as Selby, Wakefield and Pontefract.

One of the providers to lose their contact was Myorthodontist in Moor Allerton, which has now closed as a result.

The NHS has responded saying that it is working to find alternative arrangements for patients “as a matter of priority”.

One parent to contact the YEP was Richard Shenderley, who, three months after the closure in Moor Allerton, is now taking his 15-year-old daughter to a practice in Harrogate.

He said that “nobody at the practice knew what was going on” and that frequent calls and emails to the NHS to find out what to do were unanswered.

Mr Shenderley, who works for the NHS, said: “They didn’t put it out to public consultation and didn’t put in interim cover. They had a year to solve this and they just didn’t tell anyone. It was completely foreseeable and preventable.

“I spent hours trying to contact them and we didn’t get an apology. It was a pretty appalling experience.”

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He said that he is still awaiting a response to a complaint and that the entire experience has been “very frustrating”.

Mr Shenderley said: “It’s not life or death but they could have apologized and said it was out of their hands but instead what was evident was the lack of planning. They had hundreds of children but they hadn’t set anything up.”

One woman contacted the YEP about the “nightmare situation” to say that her daughter had been offered treatment in Pontefract but this would be a three-hour round trip and that she would have to take half a day off work as the practice is not open on weekends.

She added that the practice in Pontefract had been sent incorrect dental records, adding: “I keep being told to contact NHS England but they are very unhelpful.

“No one seems to know where my daughter’s records are and they are needed.

“Her treatment was delayed for two years because of Covid and now this! It seems so unfair and yet again young people are being failed.”

One man who used to work at Myorthodontist said it was “scandalous that patients are in this situation”.

A spokesperson for NHS England in the North East and Yorkshire region said: “While every effort has been made to support a smooth transition to new service arrangements, we are aware of a group of patients in the Leeds area who are experiencing a delay with their transfer to a new provider.

“Alternative arrangements are being put in place as a matter of priority, and those patients affected are now being contacted with details of their new provider.”

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