ANGRY residents in Blacon have launched a petition in a bid to save a dental practice from closure.
The health clinic and dental surgery on Church Way behind The Parade is to be demolished as part of the £18 million redevelopment of the area. A new health centre will be built but health chiefs have confirmed the dental surgery will not be replaced.
They insist the Church Way practice was only at the location while new premises – now open – was being developed in Volunteer Street.
Residents, among them parents with a lack of transport and the elderly who have mobility problems, say they are unable to make the alternative journey and are angry and worried they will now face long waiting lists at other dental practices.
Many say they are unable to walk far, and will be unable to access the Johnson and Whitehouse dental surgery on the other side of the estate in Western Avenue.
Mary Burnham, 61, of Highfield Road, said: “I have mobility problems and I use the Church Way service because it is flat and easy to access. I have tried to use other dentists but I cannot access stairs easily and I am afraid I will have problems with access if I attend elsewhere.
“All of my family use the practice on Church Way and have done for a great many years. When we first moved here we tried to use Johnson and Whitehouse but were told that the waiting list was more than a year. We will now face the same waiting lists. We simply cannot have that, we need to be able to access dental services.”
Meanwhile mother of two Dionne Pickin, 27, of Hatton Road, said: “Both my young children go to the Church Way practice. We do not want it to close, if they do close it then why can’t they include a new dental service in the proposed new health centre.
Resident Derek Waters, who has used the same service for the last 45 years has also joined the campaign.
“I can’t understand why they are going to close the service and not replace it in the same area or as close as possible. I rely on this service and I know many others, especially the elderly, are reliant on the Church Way service so we simply have to stop it from being closed.”
An NHS Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust spokesman said concerned residents can call the dental access helpline on 0800 328 9865.
She said: “NHS Western Cheshire can confirm Blacon Dental Clinic will not form part of the major new development at Blacon Parade.
“It was always our understanding this practice was at this location on a short term basis while new premises were being developed in Volunteer Street.”
The PCT guarantees access to all NHS dental patients and their future choices will be to attend Blacon’s Johnson and Whitehouse Dental Practice, which has recently been expanded and improved with easy access for all; Blacon Dental Clinic at its new premises in Volunteer Street, or other NHS dentists within the area.