AN ORTHODONTIC practice in Winchester has closed suddenly putting the care of more than 1,000 people into limbo.

The Winchester Centre of Orthodontics, in City Road, mysteriously closed with young people arriving for their appointments to find nothing more than a notice on the door.

It is understood that the centre received an NHS contract in 2010 and since its closure the firm has retained patients’ dental records.

One parent, of a 15-year-old Perins School pupil, said no notice was given, with the firm practically uncontactable.

They said: “Whatever the wrongs or rights of who had the contract, both the NHS and the company are letting the children down. It’s shambolic and they need to sort it out fast.”

The practice, which was run by the Orthodontic Smiling Centre Association, has issued a statement online.

It reads: “Our priority now is to ensure that your child is able to receive the same level of high-quality NHS orthodontic treatment from another practice. NHS England is currently liaising with other local practices to ensure that your child’s treatments are not delayed, and NHS England will be in touch with you very shortly to advise you of the new arrangements.”

A spokesperson for NHS England (Wessex) said: “Following the closure of the Winchester Centre of Orthodontics, NHS England has been working to swiftly secure alternative arrangements for patients.

“Where possible, we have contacted patients to inform them of the closure and provide advice on how they can continue to receive local orthodontic care in the future. Patients can contact the team for advice on 0300 3112233."