A sad farewell from Marlborough's NHS dental practiceFor Marlborough's NHS dentist, Dr Dimitri Hmida Haddjeri, the final months of 2018 were very distressing indeed.
The contract between NHS England and the River Kennet Dental Practice ended on 31 December 2018 - and they were not given the chance to renew it.
As the central figure at the River Kennet Dental Practice at the Marlborough Practice in George Lane, he had to see his fellow dentist Dr Pooja Avate-Sindgi, their dental nurses and assistants (led by Joanne Stevens), hygienist (Helen Langley) and reception staff (led by Susan Stoker) lose their jobs. And he too has lost a job he loved - six staff in all.
Dimitri told marlborough.news: "It is a very sad chapter of my life. I am losing staff and patients that I love and care about very much. I am going to miss you all."
He is not at all happy with the way the ending of the contact was handled: "Many times I have asked the owners to be able to stay with our staff, but unfortunately nether the Doctors or the NHS have given me the chance of a possibility to do so."
With the end of their contract and the Practice partners needing the rooms the dentists occupied, 2,924 Marlborough people who were active patients of River Kennet Dental Practice, are now without an NHS dentist - temporarily at least.
Everyone marlborough.news has asked about the closure has spoken highly of the expert care and attention to their needs given by Dimitri and his team. One person spoke of his 'excellent chair side' manner.
And another - describing himself as well over pensionable age - told us Dimitri was the best dentist he had been to - 'over all those years'.
The latest report in marlborough.news on the search for a replacement NHS dental service can be read here.
On November 26 marlborough.news wrote to Claire Perry MP to ask what steps she was taking to ensure Marlborough has NHS dental services after the end of 2018. We have had no response - so far.