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More than 500 people queued for hours in the rain for NHS places at 8to8Dental practice in Forres

By Garry McCartney

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Falconer Avenue was mobbed with people looking for an NHS dentist for hours despite the dreadful weather.
Falconer Avenue was mobbed with people looking for an NHS dentist for hours despite the dreadful weather.

MORE than 500 people queued in the rain for hours to register for NHS places at a local dentist.

The 8to8Dental practice at 10 Falconer Avenue advertised the open morning from 10am-noon on Saturday, October 21 but extended the time to accommodate everyone who turned out.

Owner Hiranya Fadia confirmed the total number of patients signed up was 520.

He said: “We half expected a good turnout but 520 is quite overwhelming! We started 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled time as people had been waiting in line much earlier and the line - which included both young and the old - was growing rapidly.”

The turnout was in part so large because there were no postcode restrictions for NHS registration.

However, Mr Fadia said the event was conducted in a “fair and orderly manner”.

He added: “Our staff members Julie, Jackie, Sandra, Sam and Beth efficiently managed the crowd. We also had the dentists, including myself, Mr Smart, Ms Sinclair and Mr Cheah, help out by carrying out data entry onto our computer system.”

Mr Fadia is grateful to his staff for their hard work and to the patients for their patience.

He finished: “The event finished two hours later than scheduled, as we were determined to sign up everyone who made the effort to stand in the pouring rain.

“I reassure the ones who’ve missed out, either because they had other commitments or simply could not reach the practice due to accessibility issues, that in future we will have an option for people to sign up online.

“I would like to thank all members of the public who were patient and supportive all throughout.”

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