A new dental practice for Shetland will open by the end of the year, it was announced today.
The practice will be in Lerwick’s Market Street and run by Lerwick Dental Practice, which is owned by three dentist shareholders who will direct and manage the practice.
The intention is for the practice to provide general dental services with 80 per cent NHS and 20 per cent private treatment.
The building work to convert the premises has now started and is expected to take up to four months to finish.
When ready, the practice will have four dental surgeries with modern dental equipment, digital X-ray and IT systems. The practice will have four dentists and six supporting staff.
The development of the practice is being supported by NHS Shetland with a grant from the Scottish Dental Access Initiative (SDAI), alongside a significant investment made by the owners of the practice.
It is planned to start patient registration online towards the end of September and further information on how patients can register will be provided in due course.
In the meantime any patient who is interested in registering can contact the practice on firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a waiting list.
The directors stated: “We are delighted to be starting work on our new dental practice in Lerwick. We have recognised the need for a new practice in Shetland and intend to deliver a modern and high-quality dental service in Shetland.”
NHS Shetland chief executive Ralph Roberts said: “We have been looking to attract a new independent NHS practice to Shetland for some time and I am therefore delighted that building work has now started and we have been able to support the practice with a grant.”
Once fully operational the practice, at 4 Market Street, is planning to register up to 6,000 patients.
The venture has been made possible by a SDAI grant, managed by the local health board and funded by the Scottish government.
The grants are targeted on specific areas in Scotland where there has been a shortfall in dentists, with Shetland now one of the few areas where SDAI grants are available.