Wiltshire Publications

Concern as plans for town NHS dentist fall through

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NHS dental care in Westbury has been thrown into confusion after the opening of a new dental practice was halted.

South Cliff Dental Practice was awarded the NHS contract for Westbury, and was due to take over from White Horse Health Centre on the 27th June.

They were due to open their new practice, Westbury Downs, in the former NatWest building in the town centre. 

However on 21st June, just 10 days before the practice was meant to open, Ashkan Pitchforth, CEO of South Cliff Dental Group, said in an email, “This project has become delayed because the superior landlord in the Natwest site has refused the renovation works – apparently he does not like the NHS, nor wants an NHS dentist to occupy his premises. 

“Thus, we are now looking at alternative premises on the High Street and will need to get back to you with some proposed future dates.”

After being contacted by the White Horse News, Ashkan Pitchforth added on 25th June, “We will be in a position in the next couple of days to release a press statement. We have back up plans for those who have already booked an appointment.”

However, there has been no further news and White Horse News approached both the South Cliff Dental Group and the NHS for a comment last week.  The NHS promised a statement by the “end of play Friday” (28th June)  but, at the time of going to press this week, there had been no contact from either the South Cliff Dental Group or the NHS.

Mayor of Westbury, cllr Mike Sutton said, “I am very disappointed that Westbury is not getting an NHS dentist at this time. I understand that they are looking for new premises along the High Street. We do have many empty buildings if landlords are willing to assist.

“It is disappointing that for a property that has been empty and derelict for so long, that the landlord is not willing to maximise the opportunity for him and the town.

“It begs the question what discussions took place between the NHS and the landlord prior to 1st July. The news has come out of the blue – and we are not yet fully aware of the reason the landlord chose not to complete.

“However, the town council will do its best to assist in finding somewhere else in town as soon as possible.”

2 Responses to Concern as plans for town NHS dentist fall through

  1. Russell Hawker

    July 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    More ridiculous comments from the current Mayor.

    The old NatWest unit is not “dilapidated”.

    It simply needs some repairs and re-fitting. This includes fixing some leaky flat roofs.

  2. justin hanger

    July 13, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Your tips are amazing!