Dentist makes new bid to set up surgery
PUBLISHED: 13:16 07 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010
A DENTIST is optimistic about setting up a new NHS surgery in Royston – after seven years of searching. Robert Ayre has submitted a planning application to convert a shop in Queens Road into a surgery. The move comes after plans to run a surgery at Bark
A DENTIST is "optimistic" about setting up a new NHS surgery in Royston - after seven years of searching.
Robert Ayre has submitted a planning application to convert a shop in Queens Road into a surgery.
The move comes after plans to run a surgery at Barkway Road were rejected on planning grounds two years ago.
There were also problems over converting the disused schoolhouse in Market Hill into a dental surgery.
Joan Yates, speaking for the surgery, told The Crow: "We hope this time that there are not going to be any stumbling blocks."
She continued: "We have looked at three properties in the past year and the one in Queens Road seems to be the most viable in terms of location."
The North and East Herts Primary Care Trust are being kept informed about the surgery's "hopes and plans", she said.
"We are really hopeful at last after seven years of looking for premises," she said.
Mr Ayre began operating a dental surgery at the Royston Health Centre six years ago - but there are no vacancies for new patients.
And the surgery is unable to take on children of patients already on its books.
"We are really sad that we cannot accommodate the children of our patients, but unless the PCT is aware there is a problem we have no extra capacity."
She continued that she was "optimistic" about being allowed to set up the surgery.
"We believe that the climate is right and we know there is a demand there."
She said, however: "We have been here many times before and we're getting a bit punch-drunk."
The offer of the premises came about when owner Geoff Marsom visited Mr Ayre and became aware of the problem.
Ms Yates said they were "delighted" with his offer.
Mr Marsom ran his butcher's shop from the premises until his retirement several years ago.
She added: "We're committed to the NHS as long as the NHS is there.
When looking at the premises in Market Hill last year, Mr Ayre said: "We've always been aware that there is a demand for more NHS dental facilities in Royston."
He said then that the surgery would probably be looking at taking on 7,500 patients.
The planning application is likely to be considered in the new year at a meeting of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee.