Dentists fear impending ‘disaster’ in Scotland
A group representing dentists in Scotland has voiced concerns about an impending ‘disaster’ in the country, as some practices struggle to reopen amid confused guidelines from the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Dental Practice Owners Group, which represents dental professionals, NHS dental practices, patients and mixed private and NHS clinic owners, has written to First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s chief dental officer, Tom Ferris, finance minister, Kate Forbes and public health minister, Joe FitzPatrick to seek urgent clarity and reassurance. The SDPO claims that a ‘two-tier’ system is being created, with differences in instructions for NHS and private dental practices.
SDPO chair, Dr Mohammed Samad, said that many dentists are facing a real threat of collapse, and as yet, there has been no response to communication from the organisation. Dr Samad accused the government of failing to take action to provide clarity and said that dentistry in Scotland was currently in a “state of disarray.” NHS practices are currently operating under stringent measures, which are preventing hundreds of patients from accessing the care they need, and this is likely to result in a noticeable decline in oral health standards in the future.
One of the main issues that is frustrating dentists is a lack of consistency in the guidelines for reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown. While some private practices are able to offer AGPs (aerosol-generating procedures), NHS surgeries are not currently permitted to administer these services, and this could further enhance health inequalities.
Dr Samad is calling for urgent clarification from health officials and the Scottish government to prevent a ‘disaster’ in the future.Join this Discussion