Out-of-hours dental appointments in Wakefield saved after last-minute U-turn

Wakefield residents would have had to travel to Leeds or Huddersfield for evening and weekend appointments had the change gone ahead.
Wakefield residents would have had to travel to Leeds or Huddersfield for evening and weekend appointments had the change gone ahead.

Emergency dental services will remain in Wakefield after a U-turn by the provider.

Earlier this month patients were told they would have to travel to either Leeds or Huddersfield if they wanted to be seen on evenings, weekends and bank holidays from April.

Betty Rhodes was among a group of West Yorkshire councillors whose intervention forced a rethink.

Betty Rhodes was among a group of West Yorkshire councillors whose intervention forced a rethink.

Local Care Direct used to deliver the out-of-hours appointments from Newstead House on Bond Street in the city centre, but the service was set to be axed after a takeover by Birmingham-based company Night Dental.

However, the change has now been reversed after the chair of Wakefield's health scrutiny committee, Betty Rhodes complained, along with councillors from Leeds, to NHS England about the decision.

Now, urgent appointments through the NHS 111 number will continue to run out of Newstead House, and the hours of operation will be increased.

Speaking at a committee meeting on Thursday, Coun Rhodes said: "What was proposed was certainly not how we would want the service to be provided.

"We wanted to make sure that the service in Wakefield was not forgotten. It's not in the interests of Wakefield residents to have to travel to Leeds or Huddersfield for dental appointments.

"I'm pleased to impart the good news today that services will continue to run out of Newstead House and the hours will actually be increased.

"It's not a case of the provider having backed off. It was a case of making sure they committed to producing the good for Wakefield residents."

Local Democracy Reporting Service