Smiles all round as NHS dentist returns to village
Harefield has been without service since 2011
MANY Harefield residents will be delighted at the opening of an NHS dentist in the village after five years with only private dental care.
The Village Dental Practice in Harefield High Street was officially opened as an NHS dentist on Friday, October 14.
An NHS-run dentist service for the village closed its doors for good in 2011, leaving patients the choice of two private surgeries in Harefield or having to travel further afield.
Beverley Meier, who lives in Harefield, registered at the dentist on Friday to replace her usual surgery in Eastcote.
She said: “It’s nice to have something local. I’m a firm believer in using local services.
“There’s not been an NHS dentist in Harefield for as long as I’ve lived here. It’s really good to see something on the High Street.”
The Village Dental Practice has been open for around two weeks but held its grand opening on Friday, attended by dentists, managers, NHS bosses and the Mayor of Hillingdon.
Dentist at the practice, Dr Iffah Zaman, said: “I think it’s really important because the residents that live here travel quite far to see an NHS dentist.
“It’s been really busy so far.
“There are a lot of older people here and it may be harder for them to travel.”
Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor John Hensley, said: “We desperately do need a dentist to meet the needs of our community.
“This practice goes toward meeting the shortage of dentists we have in the area.”
In march this year hundreds of Harefield residents signed a petition to get an NHS dentist in their village. NHS England had carried out a needs assessment where they found that the dental decay rates in Hillingdon are amongst the worst in London.
An application for ‘change of use’ from residential to dental clinic on 12A Northwood Road was submitted to Hillingdon Council in September 2015, but a decision was delayed when nearby residents raised concerns.
A total of 40 residents signed a petition against the NHS dental clinic, stating the change of use was ‘inappropriate’ and raised concerns about noise and car disturbance with insufficient car parking for staff.
A counter petition was then started collecting signatures to show how many people nearby wanted the service.
Petitioners left comments to explain their support.
One wrote: “We do need an NHS dentist in Harefield – I am a mum of three and myself and children need an NHS dentist local as the private ones are too expensive.”
The practice is still accepting registrations and you can find out more by visiting www. villagedental ha re field. co.uk.
GRAND OPENING: The ribbon is officially cut at the new practice on Harefield High Street