A DENTAL practice for people with disabilities or who are considered vulnerable now has a permanent home.
Somerstown Dental Clinic was officially opened yesterday at the Somerstown Community Hub.
To be able to offer these state-of-the-art facilities to the public is brilliant.Lisa Dugan
The special care dentist service moved to the hub from its temporary base in Eastney following the demolition of its former home in Somerstown.
It is run by Solent NHS Trust and has equipment adaptable for people in wheelchairs, with learning disabilities or other problems which mean they cannot see a regular dentist.
Lisa Dugan, head of special care at Solent, said: ‘It’s brilliant to see this service officially open. We have waited a long time to be in the hub.
‘The facilities are amazing for the patients and the staff. To be able to offer these state-of-the-art facilities to the public is brilliant.’
Ms Dugan added: ‘It is really important for us to have this practice in the city centre of Portsmouth.
‘The Somerstown Community Hub is a great building and it is fantastic that we can be a part of it.
‘It is easy for our patients to get to but we also do offer transportation if they need it. As part of the service, we also do home visits.
‘For the Portsmouth population, it is a vital service for them to have.’
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor David Fuller cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. He also cut the cake and was given a tour of the facilities along with other people from a number of health organisations.
Derek Biggs, who is a patient, also helps with the Disability Information and Advice Line (Dial) which supports people with disabilities in Portsmouth.
He was impressed with the new clinic. He said: ‘It is a great improvement on the old practice.
‘It is a lot better than what we had before and I am impressed with the wheelchair recliner which I was able to use during my appointment.’
Stephen Morgan, the ward councillor, was also at the opening. He said: ‘This is a fantastic new health service in the heart of Portsmouth.
‘It has been excellent to meet the dedicated staff, health trust managers and representatives of patient groups and try out the specialist equipment which will help the clinic tailor care to those with specific needs.’
Chief executive of Solent NHS Trust Sue Harriman said it was great to see it formally opened. ‘It’s really quite exciting because it feels like it’s been a long time coming,’ she said.