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Lowestoft: Business as usual for dentist

PUBLISHED: 10:03 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:02 06 July 2010

A POPULAR Lowestoft dentist has assured patients that it is business as usual, after being told by the new NHS operator that they wish to continue using the current staff and premises.

A POPULAR Lowestoft dentist has assured patients that it is business as usual, after being told by the new NHS operator that they wish to continue using the current staff and premises.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney said this week that Oasis Dental Care Ltd has been named as a new dental provider for Lowestoft.

But much to the delight of local patients, the operator has told Dr David Johnson that they wish to work from his current High Street surgery and continue with the same dentists.

Dr Johnson said: “I have met with directors from Oasis and they have assured me that they wish to continue to serve all our patients from the same premises with the same dentists. I'm determined to continue to do everything I can to ensure our patients are looked after. It is business as usual at The High Street Surgery.”

The High Street Dental Surgery, run by Dr David Johnson and partners, has been involved in a dispute with the primary care trust (PCT) for a number of months, after Dr Johnson claimed he had been told he had to retire at 70.

In August last year, The Journal reported that that Dr Johnson had launched a campaign to save his practice from closing after NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney put the contract out to tender. More than 5,000 people signed a petition to support the surgery and The Journal was bombarded with letters of support for the dentist, who has spent more than 32 years working in NHS dentistry.

However, in December it seemed the end was in sight for Dr Johnson when the independent adjudicating panel investigating the dispute found in favour of the PCT, and then this week the final decision was announced.

Dr Sushil Jathanna, chief executive at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “A contract with a new dental provider for the Lowestoft area has been awarded. That new provider is Oasis Dental Care Ltd.

“All bids for the dental contract were considered on an equal basis. The process was validated by an independent external body to ensure that it was fair to all the bidders. Oasis Dental Care Ltd was chosen because they demonstrated that, overall, they will provide the best service. The contract was awarded taking into account patient access, value for money, and providing the best quality of care for all NHS dental patients in the Lowestoft area.”

Oasis Dental Care Ltd has over 170 practices across England and Wales, with nearly 700 dentists serving over 1.5 million patients. The operator, which has practices in Harleston and North Walsham, will formally take over the contract from April 1.

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