NHS South Gloucestershire has confirmed that two new NHS dentists are expected to be operational in Bradley Stoke from April 2009. The news confirms an exclusive story carried in The Journal last August.
The two chair dental surgery will be based in ‘mall office unit #1’ (shown red in the plan below) on the first floor of the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke’s new town centre development.
The practice is to be run by Phoenix Dental, who currently operate one other surgery in the area at High Street, Kingwood. The owner of Phoenix Dental is understood to also own practices in Almondsbury and Yate, which operate under different names.
Information released by local South Gloucestershire Cllr Jon Williams, who sits on the Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee, reveals that the contract is worth £320,000 per annum and involves 10,000 units of ‘dental activity’ per year.
Cllr Williams (Liberal Democrat) welcomed the news saying:
“After a long running campaign to get an NHS dentist in Bradley Stoke I am obviously very pleased that the PCT [NHS] have been able to secure the contract for this much needed service. I know that many residents travel miles to obtain a dental service and it will be a relief to them that there will now be one on their doorstep. I understand that the new service will start to advertise their presence from the end of February and residents will be able to access the new service from April. This is a big boost for the town”.
A source at Phoenix Dental confirmed to The Journal that the aim is to have the practice operational by the first week in April. The company hopes to be able to announce the commencement of patient registration in February, when a website (through which registrations can be made) will go live
Once open, the practice will operate five days a week (Mon – Fri), from 9am to 5pm.
Willow Brook Centre manager, Scott Lahive, sounded a note of caution however, when he told The Journal that the NHS has yet to sign the lease for the office unit. This was confirmed by Phoenix Dental, who said they are waiting for the NHS to exchange contracts before they can commence the fitting out of the practice.
The Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council also made a statement, celebrating the news and highlighting the “long-running Conservative campaign for a dentist in the town”.
Cllr for Bradley Stoke South, Rob Jones, said:
“This is great news for Bradley Stoke residents. I am delighted that our petition and council motion has been listened to by the local NHS.”
His Bradley Stoke South colleague, John Ashe added:
“There has been a chronic need for dentistry provision in the town for years and so residents will be really pleased that they have now got a date of when they can expect their local dentist to open.”
For anyone needing to see a dentist before April, NHS South Gloucestershire has asked us to point out that many dentists in the South Gloucestershire area are currently accepting new patients and it’s never been easier to find the one nearest to you, just by ringing a new dental hotline.
The new Avon NHS Dental Helpline number is 0845 120 6680 and is available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm. The Helpline number is also the same for patients who may need to see a dentist out of hours in an emergency.
The new telephone enquiry service complements the online dentist and GP search facility available via the NHS Choices website.
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