A NORTH CORNWALL dental surgery closed down on Friday night after filing for bankruptcy – leaving 2,300 patients in limbo.
Shocked staff only learnt about the fate of the George House Dental Practice in Bodmin after reading about its closure on the Cornish Guardian website on Friday.
Former mayor of Bodmin Bob Micek was at the surgery on Friday when the four dental nurses and receptionist were told they would not have a job the following morning.
Mr Micek went along with his wife Rita who had an appointment.
"Staff evidently knew something was wrong, but were under the impression the practice would be sold to a Devon consortium.
"A lot of patients were phoning the surgery wanting to know what was going on after they read on the Cornish Guardian website that it was closing that evening, and some were quite abusive.
"The staff knew nothing about the practice going bankrupt until the story appeared on the website and they were eventually told at 5pm that it would close down – one of the staff was in tears," said Mr Micek.
NHS England said it would be contacting all patients due for appointments over the next few weeks.
It said its immediate priority is to find alternative dental providers for those patients who are part-way through courses of treatment.
Other NHS patients who have been seen by the practice in the past 18 months will also be asked if they would like to be placed on the waiting list for reallocation to another NHS surgery.
The practice in St Nicholas Street was opened in March 2009 in a bid to cut the acute waiting lists of people in the Bodmin area who were then seeking NHS dental treatment.
The local dental helpline is available to provide information for patients registered with George House. Call 01392 822348 or 0845 002 0034, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, or e-mail email@example.com