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Dentists open doors to NHS patients

PUBLISHED: 07:15 30 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:07 22 October 2010

Dentists at a Norfolk surgery have decided to open their doors to hundreds more NHS patients amid growing concerns about the lack of free dental care across the region.

Dentists at a Norfolk surgery have decided to open their doors to hundreds more NHS patients amid growing concerns about the lack of free dental care across the region.

DM Hansell and Associates, in Watton, is set to take on an extra 2,000 patients from the area after making space for an additional practitioner.

The good news comes after around 1 in 10 dentists in East Anglia recently opted to offer private services after rejecting new government contracts.

But Mark Hansell, who also has surgeries in Fakenham and Downham Market, said dentists had a “moral obligation” to offer NHS services.

The Clarence House practice, in High Street, Watton, which only does a small percentage of private work, is set to go from seven to eight practitioners in August and expand its weekday and Saturday opening hours.

Mr Hansell, who started the practice 16 years ago as a two man operation, said his new operating hours were longer than many private dentists.

“We are still NHS because we want to help people and do our best for them. We have to make a living, but someone has to see the old age pensioners and the people who can not afford treatment.”

“We have a higher ratio of NHS dentists in Norfolk than anywhere else because people are less money orientated and are more patient orientated,” he said.

The expansion will mean new opening hours of 7.30am to 8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9am to 5.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and 9am to 1.30pm on Saturdays.

Anyone wishing to join the Clarence House register can call 01953 882777.


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