The first new independent dental practice established in the Western Isles in more than 30 years was officially opened last month by Minister for Public Health, Sport, and Wellbeing, Joe Fitzpatrick.

The official opening of the new independent practice on Cromwell Street took place on August 29.

The Castleview Practice opened under the direction of owner, dentist Mr Sridhar Kalvakuntla earlier this year. 

Working in partnership with NHS Western Isles’ dental services, the opening of Castleview has helped to eliminate the dental waiting list in Stornoway. The practice offers both NHS and private dental treatment, though between 80 and 90 per cent of the practice’s work is NHS. 

Mr Kalvakuntla stated: “At Castleview our main priority is to keep our patients pain free. We understand the majority of patients can be anxious about dental treatment, and we put all efforts in to providing a stress-free environment in our new practice.

“We will be encouraging preventative care for our patients through regular attendance (every six months) and aim to attend emergencies within 24 hours with daily emergency appointments available. 

“We also have a good referral system in place should patients need specialist care. Patient satisfaction is our prime importance and we believe our work speaks louder than our voice.”

With a complement of two dentists, a dental therapist, a dental hygienist, six dental nurses and two receptionists, the new practice offers routine appointments and daily emergency appointments, available between 12noon and 1pm each day.

Mr Kalvakuntla was previously employed as a locum dentist in the Dental Centre in Stornoway from October 2016.

NHS Western Isles Director of Dental Services, Colin Robertson, described the new premises as ‘exceptional’ with state-of-the-art equipment.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson also attended the official opening of the new dental practice. 

He said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate the opening of Castleview Dental Practice. It has not only had an extremely positive impact on the waiting list in Stornoway – which has been eliminated – but it also introduces an added element of choice for patients. 

“I’d like to congratulate Mr Kalvakuntla and his team and we look forward to working in partnership with them in the years to come.”

Mr Kalvakuntla  later added that they are very grateful to Mr. Kenneth MacDonald, retired dentist with over 35-year experience at the Bayhead dental practice, “who worked tirelessly to assist us in our surgery planning at its inception and latterly on the staff training in important areas of the practice such as cross-infection control and medical emergencies.”

Castleview Dental Practice would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who made this project possible in the interest of the local community.  Western Isles Health Board and staff for their support, Mr. Dan MacLennan and his team from Lewis Builders for a first-class service; Mr. Joe MacPhee and Mr. Norman MacLean from CnES; Mann Judd Gordon accountants; Techmobile for all their computer networking, Mr. D.R. MacLeod, friends and family.

“Last but not least, all my staff who worked hard starting early in the morning and sometimes into the late evenings including weekends to reduce the patients’ waiting list.

Receptionist staff:  Erica MacArthur and Lauren Melville

Nursing staff: Yvonne Crichton, Peigi MacSween, Vrinda Vivek, Joanna Ellie Smith, Kristy Lindsay, Samantha Morrison

House Keeping: Kareen Macleod 

Dental Therapists- Kathryn Stewart and Emily Anne MacLean

Dental Hygienist – Rachel MacDonald

Practice Manager - Mrs Sarika Kalakuntla

Dentists - Sridhar Kalvakuntla, Saniya Feroze, Stephan Stephan