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Dental service in meltdown

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Dental service in meltdown

HEALTH chiefs have admitted that dental services in the region are only going to “deteriorate further” in the coming months.

Addressing councillors, NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s director of public health Valerie White also revealed it’s costing them a fortune to bring in dentists to provide emergency cover.

She said: “We do understand that this is very concerning for our local community.

“This is due to practice closures that we’ve seen, a backlog in care in relation to the pandemic, and the significant challenges we have – not just in Dumfries and Galloway – but Scotland and UK wide in relation to recruiting dentists.

“We do expect that this situation is going to deteriorate further because we are in conversation with other practices who are considering reducing their NHS patient list sizes.”

And she explained the “very significant” costs of hiring independent dental contractors, adding: “There is going to need to be further financial support provided from the Scottish Government to remedy this situation.

“But fundamentally we need to recruit dentists to our region.”

Meanwhile, Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson is calling for a seminar so elected members can better understand and address the situation.

He said: “We do share a concern in how our constituents are getting served across the region.”

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