A NEW provider has been announced for around 20,000 NHS dental patients in Colwyn Bay and Caernarfon who feared having nowhere to go for treatment after Bupa closed their surgeries.
Betsi Cadwaladr health board today (Monday) confirmed it had secured a new deal to keep the services going with an existing North Wales dentist, after last November’s shock announcement Bupa was pulling out.
Around 12,000 NHS patients attached to the Colwyn Bay branch on Prince’s Drive faced being left with nowhere to go because of a lack of room elsewhere.
The company’s unit on Caernarfon’s Cibyn Industrial Estate also gave notice it would close this month, with the company promising all other sites in North Wales would stay open.
At the time customers were outraged as they found out about the closures via local media, with several saying they felt “abandoned” by the company.
Betsi Cadwaladr director Dr Chris Stockport promised the board would commission replacement dental services “as early as possible” and would “establish dental professional education and development facilities” locally.
Today’s announcement satisfies the first part of that pledge with news Dr Mostafa Hassaan of Coal and Diamond Limited will take over both practices next week.
The executive director of primary and community care Dr Stockport said: “We are pleased to announce that we have approved an agreement between BUPA and Dr Mostafa Hassaan of Coal and Diamond Limited for the sale of practices in Colwyn Bay and Caernarfon.
“Dr Hassaan is an existing provider of NHS Dental services from his Eirlys Dental Practice in Dolgellau. The sale will complete on February 16 and all patients will transfer automatically to the new practice.
“This news will come as a relief to many patients and we are very pleased NHS dental services will continue to be delivered, with a local dentist extending their portfolio of practices within North Wales.
“Our vision is to support local practices and dental care professionals to be able to further their careers, upskill and expand their businesses whilst remaining a part of the North Wales dental community.”
Clwyd West MS Darren Millar had set up a petition calling for the practice to be saved and last week revealed Betsi had “given the green light for a new provider to take over the practice” in Colwyn Bay, but said, “nothing was set in stone”.
Mr Millar said: “This is excellent news for the people of Colwyn Bay and I am grateful to Bupa and the Health Board for their efforts to ensure continuity of NHS services to patients and to safeguard the jobs of those working at the practice.”