Marlborough's new NHS dentist is now open in Hughenden Yard
After four and a half months without an NHS dentist in the town, Marlborough Dental Care is now open in Hughenden Yard - behind WH Smith - and already has over 2,000 registered patients.
The premises were opened on Monday morning (May 13) by the Town Mayor, Councillor Lisa Farrell - it was the last official duty of her year in office. She cut the ribbons just minutes before the first patient was due to arrive.
The Town Mayor emphasised how glad people in Marlborough are to have an NHS dentist again: "We're so grateful to have you here - you'll be so busy. I wish you the best of luck."
And busy they already are. They are already booked up to the first week in August, but they can still fit emergencies in.
The practice is part of the South Cliff Dental Group and their Chief Executive, Ash Pitchforth was there to make sure everything was in full working order. The practice has two fully equipped surgeries with lead lined walls and doors for X-ray safety.
There is a disabled-friendly toilet with baby changing facilities. And, of course, a state of the art decontamination room with two sterilisers for the equipment. The service has been inspected - and passed - by both NHS England (which commissions NHS dental services) and by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
At present the team consists of dentist Dr Tabassum Khaki, dental nurse Jo Stevens (who worked at the former NHS dentist at the Marlborough surgery - the River Kennet Dental Practice), hygenist Miss Ceri Lloyd and trainee dental nurse Yaien Rai. The practice's second dentist joins in two weeks.
The practice manager is Jenny Scruse and the receptionist is Clare Wagstaff, who has worked in Marlboorugh for many years.
The practice will be open six days a week from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with late evening appointments on Tuesdays till 8.00pm.
The South Cliff Dental Group, which is based in Crawley, has also won the contract for NHS dentistry in Westbury. This will be a three-surgery practice opening by the end of June.
That will take the Group up to ten practices - and with purchases in the pipeline, they will soon have fourteen practices.
Ash Pitchforth, who qualified as a dentist in 2009 and was working full time as a dentist until April, told marlborough.news that they expect to have up to 4,000 registered patients on Marlborough Dental Care's books.
It is the Group's policy never to close their books - if they need to extend their opening times or increase their staff, they will: "It's all about reputation and putting patients first. A good reputation is necessary for growth."
Marlborough Dental Care's phone number is 01672 499941.
L to r: Yaien Rai (trainee dental nurse), The Town Mayor, Ashkan Pitchforth, Jenny Scruse (Practice Manager), Michelle McEwan (South Cliff Operations Manager), Jo Steven (dental nurse), Clare Wagstaff (receptionist)