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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-04507
Asked by: Alexander Stewart, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 18 November 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that no dental surgeries in Fife are registering new NHS patients.

Current status: Answered by Maree Todd on 30 November 2021


Answer

The dental sector has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and pre-COVID levels of patient volume are not currently achievable with the current infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance. The majority of dental treatments involve the use of aerosol generating procedures which potentially has a higher risk of transmission of the virus. We are working closely with the sector to improve capacity which is why we have provided £5m funding to improve surgery ventilation and a further £7.5m has been allocated to for the purchase of new drills. These measures are intended to increase the productivity of practices, enabling them to see more patients, within the current IPC constraints.

Additionally, funding of £4.7m has been provided to NHS Boards to enable the Public Dental Service (PDS) to improve access to NHS dental care in their area, particularly for people who are unable to register with a dentist at present. Any patients who require dental treatment before they are able to register with a practice should contact the dental helpline in their Board area. Contact details for each Board can be found on the NHS Inform website at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services/dental/dental-emergencies .