Western Isles Dentistry

12 April 2017

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, said she is concerned by the revelations coming from the Scottish Government over the growing concern that is NHS Western Isles dentistry.  

Mrs Grant who has been fighting for constituents who wish to have a normal dental service on the Western Isles and hopefully to take advantage of the Government’s “Lifetime Registration” has again contacted both NHS Western Isles and the IJB on behalf of concerned constituents.  

It would appear now that the Population Health Directorate has admitted that the Western Isles Health Board figures are somewhat distorted.

 Mrs Grant said,

“The patient registration figures from the Information Services Division have long claimed an 80% registration rate for the Western Isles population.

“These figures have been found to be at odds with a Freedom of Information request to the Western Isles Health Board. 

“Under the Freedom of Information request the figures are 50.6% in Lewis and 53.2% on the Western Isles as a whole.

“This distortion reflects the confusion surrounding the Government’s statistics and indeed their legislation.”

 In 2011 NHS Western Isles opened a Dental Centre on a huge scale which they claimed to be “one of the most significant healthcare developments in the past decade”.  

However given Government constraints there has been difficulties attracting and retaining dentists.

 Mrs Grant added,

“The situation facing dental patients in Stornoway is desperate given the figures we are seeing now and the difficulties in attracting and retaining dentists, and I fear that the SNP is trying to push down the road towards private dentistry in the Islands.”

 She concluded saying ,

 “This, in conjunction with the unacceptable situation surrounding the sudden announcement to close Lochboisdale dental practice, just seems to be adding to the pain and suffering of those seeking a normal dental service on the Islands.”