Snettisham NHS Grange practice to continue as dentist Ian Smith retires
An NHS dentist in Snettisham who has had a practice for 54 years is getting set to take a well-earned rest in retirement.
Ian Smith, 78, will be passing the reins on to Mandeep Bhogal with the practice continuing to treat NHS patients.
Originally from Edinburgh, Mr Smith has practised as a dentist since 1977.
He said: "I have owned the Grange Dental Surgery in Snettisham since 1982 and the reason for my retirement is that I have arthritis in my hands.
"A recommendation from a surgeon for the safety of my hands and for my patients is that I retire."
Mr Smith has sold the dental practice to Mandeep Bhogal and he said: "Mandeep is an extremely nice young man and exceptionally confident dentist.
"My practice has always been NHS and will continue to be NHS."
Mr Smith spent a decade in the army and then came to Norfolk and sadly lost his first wife to meningitis.
He is now married to Julie, 60, who has worked alongside him as a dental nurse for 40 years and she is also about to retire.
Mr Smith said: "Julie is great and has run the practice and she is retiring as well."
The couple will take residence in one half of The Grange, where the practice will remain as NHS with plans by Mandeep to expand.
Mr Smith said: "I've been committed to the NHS since I came to Norfolk. I'm old fashioned and the NHS should be made to work.
"Mandeep has got my NHS contract and will continue, he is a very high quality practitioner."
With more time on their hands after substantial dental careers, committed to the NHS, spanning half a century, the couple are looking forward to stopping and are grateful to their staff and patients.
Mr Smith has already published a book called A Fullback Slower Than Your Average Prop, a biography about his time as a Scottish international rugby player.
Mr Smith said: "I want to thank the patients and staff for their support.
"It will be nice to stop, though I quite like writing and would like to write more."