Jersey children waiting a year to see a dentist

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Children in Jersey are waiting a year to see a dentist, new figures have revealed.

Statistics from the 12-month period leading up to the end of June 2017 suggest that children are waiting 63 weeks for a hospital dental appointment and 51 weeks to see an orthodontist. This marks a major increase in waiting times from 2012, when children faced an average wait of 12 weeks for treatment in hospital and 17 weeks for an orthodontic appointment.

In light of the news, the health department acknowledged that waiting times were too long on the island and a spokesperson said that members were looking into ways to rectify the situation and reduce waiting times. The department has allocated additional funding for dental services next year, but representatives have admitted that it has been tough to recruit new dentists and dental nurses in the midst of a national shortage of dental professionals. The department currently employs four dentists, but only one works full-time hours. As well as finding it hard to recruit new dentists, the department also admits that it hasn’t been able to recruit locum services to provide a short-term solution to bridge the gap.

In contrast to the situation in Jersey, waiting times for dental treatment have decreased in Guernsey. The average waiting time to see a dentist in hospital is 13 weeks compared to 15 weeks in 2017.

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