The dental surgery at Lerwick’s St Olaf Street which has now been vacated by Alan Owen’s practice is not likely to re-open until the middle of October.
The practice, which is being formally taken over by the NHS, closed on Friday on the retirement of Mr Owen and is now being refurbished. It was originally due to re-open on 3rd October using Mr Owen’s dental equipment, but this week it emerged that Mr Owen has sold the equipment he owned to a “third party”, leaving the NHS to source replacements. This will cause a slight delay in re-opening the St Olaf Street surgery.
The news was announced at a meeting of NHS Shetland board on Tuesday and was also given to Lerwick Community Council on Monday.
Speaking at the NHS meeting, director of clinical services Simon Bokor-Ingram said there would now be a need to procure more dental chairs, and if that was not achievable shortly, a contingency plan would be for St Olaf Street patients to be seen at Montfield. He stressed that emergency patients would always be seen and “nobody will be disadvantaged”. Letters regarding the arrangements will be sent to patients, he said.
Eventually St Olaf Street patients will return there. During the period of closure the patient records, which were all manual, will be computerised.