NHS dental services at a Holmfirth surgery have been saved from the axe after funding for a new state-of-the-art practice was secured.
Plans to relocate the Huddersfield Road surgery to a new £½m building at the Oaklands Health Centre were passed without a hitch last October.
But practice partner, Dr James Garritt, had said free NHS services could be lost if he could not come to an agreement with Kirklees Primary Care Trust (PCT).
The cash for the move was netted after a deal was done that saw Dr Garritt’s surgery take on 150 extra patients, briefly wiping out the waiting list in the HD9 area.
He said: “With a lot of hard work with the dental team from the PCT we’ve now managed to secure funding that’s allowing us to continue to provide NHS services in our new purpose built premises. We’re in discussions with designers at the moment and the tender should be going out soon. We could be starting to build in April and hope to be open by December. We’ll be the only purpose built, state-of-the-art dental surgery in the UK that’s completely NHS.”
The new surgery – to be built facing the Oaklands Health Centre, in the grounds of Holme Valley Memorial Hospital – will be ‘future-proof’ and provide full disabled access and improved care for patients through fully computerised modern equipment such as digital x-rays, 3D radiological imaging, and examination rooms, giving dentists the facilities to perform minor oral surgery.
And with the provision of 16 extra parking spaces at the Oaklands site, patients will have everything they need all linked into one site.
Dr Garritt, who has owned the practice for nine-years, said there was now only a handful of people on the NHS waiting list in the HD9 area, and he stressed that Kirklees PCT were doing all they could to find everyone an NHS dentist.
“We’ve been working longer hours, everyone has mucked in,” he said. “The whole team here has worked really hard to get everyone seen to.”
Clare Priestley, a contracts manager for the PCT, said: “We have been working with local dentists to steadily reduce the number of people waiting to become a patient at a dental practice in Kirklees.
“Funding will be in place from April this year and we expect this latest initiative to go a long way towards removing the current waiting list.”
Plans for the new premises are on display at the existing Holmfirth Dental Surgery at 132 Huddersfield Road.
CONTACT: To register for an NHS dentist in Kirklees call 0800-587-2417