Bosses at NHS Ayrshire and Arran have again insisted that no decision has been made on the Public Dental Service (PDS) at Girvan Community Hospital.
Margaret Armour, a user of the dental services contacted the Gazette claiming that she had received confirmation that the PDS at Girvan Hospital was now closed.
She said: “I recently had to have out of hours dental treatment and was seen in Irvine. Then when I had to get a tooth removed I was taken all the way to Ayr because I couldn’t be seen in Girvan anymore.
“The dentist at Girvan told me that the service was now already shut and the equipment was being moved.
“I’ve got MS which means I’m in a wheelchair. I’ve got no one to take me to the hospital so they have to send an ambulance which is a great inconvenience.
“It is a disgrace to think that the elderly and MS patients have to suffer for at least an hour before we can hopefully be seen by a dentist.”
The Public Dental Service is there for patients who struggle to use regular dentists.
Eddie Fraser, director of East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We are committed to ensuring a safe and effective dental service in Girvan to meet the needs of the local community.
“East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership has responsibility for providing primary care including Public Dental Services.
“The PDS dentists provide care to patients with additional needs, who have physical disabilities, phobic patients, or patients on referral who require sedation services. It also supports special needs schools.
“Within the Girvan area, a small number of patients currently use the PDS, approximately 40 mainstream patients, with 15 patients with additional needs.
“The PDS provides the following surgeries at Girvan Community Hospital:
Dentist input – two or three days a month.
Dental hygienist input– one and a half days a month.
“To ensure we provide the best possible care for our patients and we make the most efficient use of our resources, we are reviewing the PDS. The review includes writing to all PDS patients in the Girvan area to provide them with information and invite them to take part in the review.
“We have also arranged a drop-in event on Monday, March 21 from 10.30am to 12noon in the dental department in Girvan Community Hospital, so that patients can meet the dental services team and ask any questions.
“We would emphasise that no decisions have been taken about the future provision of the PDS.”