More than 100 people have applied to become one of an estimated 1,000 new NHS patients with the Ferndale Dental Clinic in Devizes after it was awarded funding by NHS Wiltshire, www.gazetteandherald.co.uk reports.
The clinic, in Estcourt Street, owned by Martyn Cox, has been given a contract to take on new adult and children patients on the NHS.
It’s is in the processing of recruiting an associate dentist who will carry out the NHS work from next month.
So far, 120 people have filled in an application form to be treated as NHS patients at the clinic.
There is no selection criteria and patients will be taken on a first-come first-served basis.
Mr Cox, who treats children on the NHS, said: ‘We bid for the NHS contract because in this time of recession we should be providing a service to people who can’t afford the costs of private treatment.
‘We get between 10 and 20 calls a week from people who can’t find a dentist and most of them want an NHS dentist.
‘It’s difficult to know how many extra patients we can take because the contract is for 5,000 units of dental activity and treatments have different amounts of units and if we do more units of dental activity than we are allocated we don’t get paid for it. We think the contract could result in us taking on 1,000 new patients. If we have more patients than we can treat under the contract we will put them on a waiting list.’
Ferndale’s NHS contract is one of a number of new contracts that NHS Wiltshire is setting up in the county at a cost of £3.1 million.
The new contract in Devizes will increase NHS dental provision in the town by 5-44%.
The extra £3.1 million will increase access to an NHS dentist from 43% of the population of Wiltshire to 53%. The Government target is 70%.