Local MP encourages residents to make use of NHS helplines to access dentist services
Banff and Buchan MP, David Duguid has urged local residents to make use of NHS helplines and websites to get access to dentist services.
After the news that some local dentists would no longer accept NHS patients, Mr Duguid was contacted by a number of concerned residents who were struggling to register elsewhere.
Recent policy announcements by the SNP Scottish Government, to provide free dentistry to under 26 year olds has reportedly had an effect of the affordability of dental clinics accepting other NHS patients.
I response to a letter from the MP, the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian informed him that dental activity in Aberdeenshire is currently around 59% of pre-pandemic levels.
He was also informed that NHS Grampian have a central call number available for people to access help and advice in relation to dental emergencies and dental registration, with a team of qualified dental nurses who will respond to these queries/issues. The team can be contacted on 0345 4565 990 between 8.05am and 6pm and they can provide details of dental practices who are accepting new patients within Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.
Should residents require emergency treatment, and still be unregistered as an NHS patient, they should contact the advice line on 0345 45 65 990, Monday to Friday 8:05am-6:00 pm or NHS24 on 111 in the evenings and weekends from 6:00pm-8.00am; Dental Information & Advice Line (DIAL) (nhsgrampian.org).
Commenting, Mr Duguid said:
“I would urge all residents who are struggling to register with a dentist in Banff and Buchan to make use of the helplines provided.
“While we all accept that the pandemic meant a reduction in services including dentistry, 59% capacity is far too low as we look to return to normal in the coming weeks.
“The Scottish Government need to ensure sufficient support for local health boards and dental clinics so that my constituents are not left in limbo.”