A NEW permanent NHS dentist should open for Swanage patients this April, health bosses have confirmed.

Residents were shocked after the only dental practice in town stopped treating NHS patients and went private in March last year.

Local campaigner Mandy Mason established a campaign to bring back permanent NHS dentistry to Swanage, which was backed by hundreds of concerned residents.

Following this wave of protest, the NHS launched a temporary, mobile dental surgery and started a procurement process for a full-time dentist in the town.

SCA Trafalgar Dental Services, part of the SCA Group, has been awarded the contract.

Mandy said: “Obviously, this is great news for Swanage. It’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to the new dentist opening.”

Meanwhile, a Dorset NHS spokesman explained: “Since learning of the decision of the only provider of NHS dentistry in Swanage to stop providing NHS services we have worked hard to ensure we are able to offer people in and around the town a secure NHS dental service for the long term.”