Dental practice extension could reduce waiting times in Cockermouth

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A Cockermouth dentist is hoping to get the green light for a practice extension, which could help to reduce waiting times and ease pressure on services in Cumbria.

Amanda Strong has submitted an application to extend the first floor of St Helen’s Dental Practice in Market Place, Cockermouth. The plan is to create an additional treatment room with a waiting area.

In a statement accompanying the application, Ms Strong suggested that the extension would “improve the existing facilities” and increase capacity at the practice.

Dentists across the county are currently battling backlogs and patient waiting lists are growing by the day. Increasing NHS capacity would be hugely beneficial to the local community in the wake of the pandemic, which has caused major disruption across the country.

Data suggests that there was a decrease of 68% in dental activity in Cumbria in 2020/2021 compared to the previous year due to the pandemic.

The proposals for the Cockermouth practice outline plans for a first floor rear extension, which would cover an existing ground floor area, as the ground floor extends beyond the first storey at present.

As well as providing additional space to treat patients, the construction work would also improve the existing facilities by preventing water from getting into the ground floor areas, which is currently a problem.

The practice is located in a conservation area, but the statement provides assurances that the utmost care has been taken in planning work, which avoids “significant change.” All the materials will match those currently in use and the extension complies with the Allerdale Local Plan policy.

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