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Journal fights to plug the gap

The Exmouth Journal has handed over a 1,000-name petition as part of its campaign for a solution to the town’s growing shortage of dentists.

The newspaper launched its Plug The Cavity campaign in January after learning of the impending retirement of a local dentist.

The Archant-owned newspaper, which has a weekly circulation of 8,000, had already reported on the retirement of another dentist just two months earlier – and called on East Devon Primary Care Trust to attract another dentist to the town to relieve the acute shortage in NHS provision.

  • Editor Mary Evans (left) hands over the petition
  • As part of the campaign the Journal ran regular updates on the situation – also revealing that two more dentists were planning to go private – and published coupons which it asked readers to cut out and sign to show their support.

    Editor Mary Evans said: “The lack of NHS dentists has been an issue which people across the town have really been able to get their teeth into.

    “Alongside each story we ran a form asking readers to support our plea to the local district council and primary care trust to attract another dentist to work in the town.

    “In what is traditionally quite an apathetic town, we were surprised, but very heartened to find responses flying through the letter box.

    “By presenting the chief exec of the primary care trust, Iain Tulley, with 1,000 signatures, we were able to bring the message home that people really cared about this and wanted to see action.”

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