A RESPECTED pharmacist is spearheading plans for a new dentists’ surgery in part of Leigh which is known as a “dental desert”.

Mohamed Fayyaz Haji, known locally as Fizz, runs Belfairs pharmacy, in Eastwood Road North, in Leigh.

The pharmacy provides a range of services, including cholesterol and blood pressure checks, health advice, and prescribing.

Fizz has recently acquired further premises so he can expand into even greater levels of primary and community care. He is now looking to deliver a new NHS dental practice as the Belfairs area at present doesn’t have an one available.

Anna Firth, Tory MP for Southend West, has since backed his campaign and called on Dame Andrea Leadsom, minister for public health, to meet with her, Fizz, and the NHS Integrated Care Board, to discuss plans.

She said: “The provision of NHS dentistry is of great concern to Southend residents, and I am determined to do all I can to increase provision across our city.

“Fizz is already doing fantastic work for our city and his proposals for a new NHS dental practice in Belfairs are fantastic news, I will continue to do all I can to ensure this new practice is commissioned as soon as possible.”

The proposals from Fizz, which have premises secured and dentists lined up, has the potential to provide around 7,000 units of dental activity, which is the value given to a course of treatment.

However, the Integrated Care Board is required to commission this new dental practice which has not yet happened.

The minister agreed to meet with Ms Firth as she pushes for the commissioning of this new dental service as “a matter of urgency”.

Fizz added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to improve NHS dental provision for Southend residents.

“We are ready to go and just need the go ahead from the local NHS.

“I am hugely grateful for Ms Firth’s support in pushing this new practice forward so we can start treating people as soon as possible.”

The Integrated Care Board was contacted for comment.