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Ross slams Moray dental delays


By Alan Beresford

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MORAY MP Douglas Ross has condemned what he claims are delays in accessing NHS dental services in Moray.

Douglas Ross MP: "Concerned" over reported problems accessing NHS dental services in Moray. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Douglas Ross MP: "Concerned" over reported problems accessing NHS dental services in Moray. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The region's Conservative MP said that NHS dental patients in Moray are still struggling to access routine services that were scaled back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was responding to concerns raised by constituents about a lack of care available on the NHS, particularly for those that had appointments cancelled during the lockdown.

Mr Ross said some, including children, have not had a check-up for a year.

Constituents have also reported that a range of procedures classed as aerosol generating, such as fillings, are being offered to private patients but not to those on the NHS list.

Mr Ross has now written to Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman and Chief Dental Officer for Scotland Tom Ferris seeking answers on behalf of his constituents.

He said: “We all know that dental services ground to a halt after the coronavirus lockdown in March.

“Six months later, however, it appears many people are still struggling to access basic services.

“I am very concerned that patients here in Moray cannot get treatments such as fillings – unless they are paying for private care.

“I have asked the Health Secretary and the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland when aerosol-generating procedures will be carried out so that check-ups and treatments can resume.

“I have also asked why there is currently a two-tier service – with private patients able to access treatments that are unavailable to those on NHS lists.

“I understand that there are many restrictions on our day-to-day lives at the moment, but we cannot continue to leave patients – and especially children – without access to dental treatment.”

However, Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead stressed that urgent dental work was still being carried out with the safety of both patients and dental staff remaining paramount.

He continued: "I have shared the concerns of constituents about access to dental care with the NHS and I know thatprocedures are under constant review by medical experts with advice and updates issued by various health bodies and by Scotland's Chief Dental Officer.

"While there are reports of procedures being offered by private practice that are currently suspended by the NHS, the advice for dentists is clear to both private and NHS dentists and that is that AGPs have higher risks in relation to Covid-19 transmission.

"There has, however, been an increase in the type of treatments that can be carried out in recent works and urgent treatment involving AGPs can be carried out with very strong safeguards in place that have been carefully considered.

"The health and safety of all patients and staff attending dental practices must remain the primary consideration as procedures are reintroduced."

Read more Moray news here.



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