Soap actor opens new premises for his dental practice

ACTOR Rudolph Walker opened the new premises of a Caversham dental practice where he has been a patient for 25 years.

The 83-year-old, who has played Patrick Trueman in EastEnders for more than 20 years, was invited to the official opening of Prospect Street Dental Practice’s new site on Thursday last week.

The premises are the former site of butchers Jennings of Caversham and the practice will continue to use its existing clinic across the street.

Fourteen members of staff watched as the actor cut a bright pink ribbon in the new reception area.

He said: “I have been coming for quite a number of years and there’s a reason I am still here.

“It’s a family-run practice which is a plus. It’s fantastic.  It just so happens that I was not filming today so I thought I would come along.”

Mr Walker has always been treated by dentist Eileen Buckley and the pair chatted.

Ms Buckley, who has worked at the practice for 36 years, said: “I remember him coming for the first time and hiding under his cap in the waiting room so he wouldn’t be recognised.”

Her son Darragh Buckley, who is also a dentist at the practice, said the new premises allowed them to take on more patients.

He said: “This means it will be easier to get appointments. We were basically full across the road.

“The practice has been here for 40-plus years which means there are patients who have been coming for that time.

“It gets to the point where they’re 90 and they can’t manage the stairs anymore. We have to refer them to other services nearby.”

The new site has four rooms, which allows for more specialists.

Mr Buckley said: “In the old space it would be one specialist on one day, another on another day.

“If people wanted a root canal specialist, we’d have to tell them they could only come on Mondays. If you wanted a gum disease specialist, they only come on Wednesdays. Now we can get them to do a couple of extra days.”

The practice has taken on two new nurses and a receptionist following the move and a part-time hygienist has become full-time.

The access has been improved so that patients are able to enter the practice through the Chester Street car park if they cannot use the step at the front door. 


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