NHS dentistry has been described as ‘not fit for purpose’ by politicians and requires a radical reform. The Scottish government is in negotiation with the British and Scottish Dental Associations about what the future holds for NHS dentistry, however, as a profession we are not hopeful of a positive outcome from these discussions.
Due to the continued reduced capacity and lack of Government support over the past 2 years we have had to make fundamental changes to how NHS dentistry is provided within the practice.
We will see NHS patients for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon only. This is approximately 30% of our allocated time which is more than the government has funded us for in the past two years.
We will NOT be providing routine 6 monthly check-ups for adult patients. This is in keeping with the government’s policy of applying a risk assessment to patients when determining recall intervals.
(please see attached the transcript of Maree Todd speaking to Parliament in February)
If patients have a low risk of dental disease, then recall intervals will be extended to up to 24 months.
At DB Dentalcare we have decided to prioritise two main risk groups: The young and the old.
We will be providing routine 6 monthly examinations for child patients and yearly appointments for our elderly patients over 65.
All other patients will be seen on an ad-hoc basis for treatment following emergency.
We will continue to see all patients for emergencies if required.
What would be classed as routine treatment nowadays is often not available on the NHS and we believe that it is important for patients to know what NHS dentistry ‘actually’ offers and allow patients to make an informed decision on how their care is provided.