Town could get more NHS dentists
By Roddy AshworthTALKS are being held on opening a new dentist surgery to provide badly-needed NHS services in a town.Peggy Smith, service development manager at Tendring Primary Care Trust, said a dentist had expressed an interest in opening a surgery in or near Harwich to provide NHS dentistry services.
By Roddy Ashworth
TALKS are being held on opening a new dentist surgery to provide badly-needed NHS services in a town.
Peggy Smith, service development manager at Tendring Primary Care Trust, said a dentist had expressed an interest in opening a surgery in or near Harwich to provide NHS dentistry services.
“Premises have been identified, but financial details are still being ironed out under the new dental contracts which recently came into force. If all goes well, we hope to have the surgery up and running early in the New Year,” she added.
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“We are acutely aware of the gaps within NHS dentistry across Tendring. Like most parts of the country, we are suffering from a shortage of NHS dentists, but we have been working hard to find a solution to the problem.
“I would like to thank people for their patience during the past few months and hope we are close to putting in place a local service for the people of Harwich.”
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The move was welcomed by Debbie Pegram, whose four-year-old son, Tony, has been unable to see an NHS dentist for more than six months.
Mrs Pegram, who owns the Mariners pub in West Street, Harwich, tried to find a dentist for her son when he suffered tooth pain soon after they moved to the town about a year ago.
But she was told by Tendring Primary Care Trust that she would have to take him to either Clacton or Colchester to find a dentist offering NHS treatment because of a lack of facilities in the Harwich area.
Mrs Pegram said she had been unable to find a dentist anywhere that would take on her son.
But she added: “We are lucky though - about two weeks ago one of the dentists on Fronks Road started to take NHS patients, so I've got him in there.
“However, the earliest appointment we could get was for December 15. I just hope that's not too late.”
Mrs Pegram said hundreds of parents unable to get NHS treatment for their children had signed a petition calling for improved access to free dental facilities in the Harwich area.