PATIENTS have reacted with anger to the news that a Newcastle Emlyn dental practice is to end treatment on the NHS.

More than 3,600 patients have received letters from Emlyn Dental Care Practice saying that from January 1, 2020 the team will no longer be providing NHS dental care from the surgery, leaving a large area of the Teifi Valley without NHS dental cover.

One parent who contacted the Tivyside said: “They have just moved into a new building and to pull the plug on NHS patients like this cannot be right.

“I have three young children and they have said I can transfer to a private dental plan that would cost my family £55 a month – and that’s before any treatment is even carried out. That is money I do not have.

“As to where we can go now, I have no idea. Wherever I have tried ringing, they tell me they either do not accept NHS patients or their lists are full. It’s ridiculous.”

The letter from the dental practice says: “Since our relocation to our new premises, our goal has been to expand our services and ensure that our increasing patient numbers are treated to the highest standards.

“It was therefore fundamental that we had sufficient number of dentists to meet the demand and we were fortunate to introduce two new clinicians in Dr Gerald Lloyd and Dr Christopher Cumming to the team.

“Dr Lloyd remained with us for six months and we have recently been informed that Dr Cumming will be leaving at the end of December 2019.

Sadly, it has been difficult for us to recruit new dentists to the area and it is therefore with deep regret that we have made the difficult decision to serve notice on our General Dental Services contract with Hywel Dda University Health Board.

This means that from January 1 2020 we will no longer be providing NHS dental services.”

Lynsey Hawke, practice manager for Emlyn Practice, said: “Over the last nine months the practice has worked with the health board to develop contingency plans for the continuation of NHS dental services from the practice.

“However regrettably we feel that we have now exhausted all options in terms of the recruitment and as a result we have come to the decision that we will have to give Hywel Dda University Health Board notice on our NHS Dental Contract.”

Patient watchdog the Community Health Council is looking to meet with the health authority to discuss the situation.

Council chairman Mansell Bennett said: “It is disappointing that Newcastle Emlyn Dental have served notice on their NHS General Dentist Services contract.

“We understand the public’s frustrations. We have already expressed our concerns to the chief executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board.

“We will be meeting further with the Health Board to discuss its plans for getting NHS dentistry on a better footing in the area”.

Jill Paterson, director of primary care, community and long-term care for Hywel Dda health authority, said: “We are disappointed that Emlyn Dental Care are no longer able to provide NHS Dental Services to patients in the area and appreciate the impact that this will have on the local population.

“The Health Board is working to find a longer-term solution which secures this important service for the area.”

When the surgery opened last September, Carmarthenshire County Council provided a £128,000 grant towards the new building.

When asked if that grant was dependent on NHS treatment being offered, a council spokesperson said: “No, the grant was based on capital works to be undertaken and jobs to be created by the business within three years of completion of the scheme.”

For information on how to access NHS dental care at another dental practice, visit or contact the Dental Services Team on 01267 229695 (Tuesday to Friday between 10am and 4pm).