MSP calls for urgent action on dental care amid fears over cuts to NHS services


Health managers have confirmed that four capital’s offices have gone to private treatment only, forcing thousands of people to pay more money or find another firm.

Reports of long waits and problems getting checks and other appointments for NHS patients have sparked fresh fears of a collapse in access to routine services and a growing health emergency with the city’s children among the hardest hit.

Frustrated patients are facing expectations of six months or more to be seen in the middle of the in progress aggravated by the impact of covid restrictions.

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BDA warns of ‘exodus’ of NHS dentists leaving families with no options

The figures show that 83% of children are registered with an NHS dentist in Lothian – the lowest number of all regions of the Health Council in Scotland. Ninety-two percent of adults are registered.

Lothians MSP Miles Briggs condemned the figures, saying that it was necessary to do more because around 20,000 children and young people do not have access to dental care.

The British Dental Association told events that Scottish government policies accelerate an “exodus” of the NHS, leaving more and more families without options.

A mum-of-two said: ‘My toddler had never been to a dentist as he was not registered before Covid. It was so stressful to find somewhere. I’ve been offered pay-as-you-go plans at my dentist, but I can’t afford to go private for the three of us.

“It’s really scary not being able to easily get help when your children need it and having to try for weeks to find a place and then wait a long time to be seen and shell out the money you have need for the bills with the rising cost of living.”

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NHS Lothian has issued a warning that GP services are at risk in Maybury, Shawfair and Sou…

A practice in the city informed shocked patients last month that they were stopping NHS treatment from October.

Links The dental office of Bruntsfield, who takes care of more than 10,000 people, sent an email to patients telling them that they would be withdrawn from the NHS list and that they should pay to stay with them.

Official data suggests that the total number of dentists from the street NHS in Scotland has dropped by more than 5% since the start of COVVID, while 80% of dentists have expressed their intention to reduce their commitment to the NHS.

An Edinburgh woman said she was so fed up she was considering driving out of town for treatment.

The 27 -year -old said: “I tried about five different dentists and I finally received a response from one of them who said that I should wait until October to do a check. “is ridiculous. I’m so annoyed. I’m considering going to Glasgow to get an appointment. I haven’t had a check-up in so long so I really need to get one.

Lothians MSP Miles Briggs said access to dental care is a growing health emergency: “It is deeply worrying that so many families in Edinburgh are struggling to register with a dentist or get an appointment.

“It is totally unacceptable that NHS Lothian has the lowest number of children registered in a dental practice in Scotland.

“Up to 20,000 young people from Lothian probably do not receive the dental care they need. It is an increasing public health emergency.

“Throughout the pandemic, dental practices have not received the necessary support from SNP ministers and now many are going private.

“The transition out of the pandemic has been very poorly managed, leaving people struggling to get a dental appointment.

“It has set us back years in dentistry across Scotland and there is more urgency to deal with this issue.”

Jenny Long, Director of Primary Care at NHS Lothian, said: “From June 2021 to May 2022, four practices transitioned from NHS Lothian to private practice across Lothian. Opt-outs come from practices converting to primarily provide private care.

“Patients who are not registered with a general dentist and need urgent dental treatment can access the emergency dental service by contacting Chalmers Dental Center on 0131 536 4800, Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm. “


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