"Concerns about Dental Provision"

About: NHS Highland

(as the patient),

My wife and I received a letter recently telling us that due to changes in dental provision in Highland, our dental practice which is the Abban Street Dental Clinic is soon going to be focussing on meeting the needs of people with additional Support Needs.

The letter said that because of this we have to find ourselves another NHS dentist. We understand the need to target resources on people with ASN to maintain their oral health, but surely inclusion would dictate that the needs of ALL should be met, and surely this includes the needs of the practice's long standing existing clients.

Back in the year 2000 my wife and I waited for 18 months to get into the Abban Street Clinic. Since then we have been very happy with the quality of Dental Care / oral health advice given to us and two of our children over the last 15 years.

We are writing to express our disappointment at this proposed change and hope that NHS Highland will consider and alternative strategy, such as hiring another dentist or two to enable the practice to meet the needs of everyone and thereby function in a truly inclusive manner.

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Responses

Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Eddie the Eagle

Thank you for taking the time to provide your comments on the future changes within the Public Dental Service Clinic at Abban St. When these changes do take place each patient will be offered a choice of NHS committed ‘High St’ Dentist (General Dental Practitioner) to which they would want their registration transferred to and this will be arranged.

I do appreciate the changes within the Public Dental Service are causing some people concerns but the plans are consistent with the Scottish Governments policy and we will be doing all we can to ensure that all patients are seen by the most appropriate for their needs.

There are High St Dentists that have capacity to accept more patients for NHS registration and NHS Highland is committed to supporting patients in transferring their registration to these Dentists. This in turn will ensure that the limited Public Dental Service resource is used appropriately and for patients who cannot access services from High St Dentists. I hope this goes some way to explain why these changes are necessary.

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