Bradley Stoke’s first-ever dental surgery opened for business today on the first floor of the mall building at the town’s Willow Brook Centre.
The opening marks the end of a long campaign to secure NHS dental provision in Bradley Stoke and follows years of frustration for residents, during which they have had to travel to practices in neighbouring towns.
The history of health care provision in Bradley Stoke is littered with false starts and setbacks. The Town Council proudly announced in September 2005 that a new health centre, incorporating a dental practice, was to be built on a site at Savages Wood Road (opposite the new Tesco filling station). Those plans were later shelved by NHS South Gloucestershire, which decided it would rather spend the money on extending existing GP practices that serve the town (and we’re still waiting for those, four years on!).
Local Lib Dems launched a campaign for a dental surgery in June 2007, claiming that no dentist within 3km of the town was currently accepting NHS patients. They were supported by local MP Steve Webb who said it was extraordinary that a community the size of Bradley Stoke (with more than 20,000 residents) did not have its own dental practice.
The first signs of progress came in October 2007 when South Gloucestershire Council approved Tesco’s plans for the development of a new town centre. The planning agreement included a requirement on Tesco to “actively market one of the upper floor units of the mall … for use as a dental surgery for a minimum period of six months”.
Further confirmation that things were happening came in April 2008 when NHS South Gloucesterhire started the tendering process for “the new Bradley Stoke dental practice”, quoting a target opening date of December 2008.
That timescale proved slightly optimistic as the chosen service provider, Phoenix Dental Limited, was not appointed until January 2009.
Phoenix initially said they would be opening the practice in April 2009, but later confirmed the date had slipped to 18th May 2009.
The practice, which employs two dentists an a hygienist, is open from 8:30am to 6pm Monday – Friday, with later opening on Wednesdays until 7:30pm. Some appointments may also be available on Saturday mornings.
Access to the surgery is via a door to the left of the main car park entrance to the mall, from where stairs and a lift lead to the first floor.
The company’s literature says it is one of the few remaining practices to provide dental care for both adults and children under the NHS.
Appointments may be made by phoning 01179 114441 or via the Bradley Stoke Dental Surgery website.
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