NHS Grampian drafts in private dentists to tackle mounting waiting lists

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NHS Grampian has hired private dentists to try and reduce the number of patients waiting for treatment. The trust has come to an agreement with The Aberdeen Clinic, which will see the firm paid over £500,000 over the next 6 months. 

The board has decided to take action to combat waiting lists in the oral and maxillofacial department. Currently, over 1,000 people are waiting for outpatient treatment, and the trust is hoping that with the help of the private clinic, it will be possible to greatly reduce or even eradicate waiting times by April 2020. 

Health campaigners have criticised NHS Grampian for allowing the situation to snowball, but welcomed the news of additional services.

Last month, the waiting times for patients joining the waiting for routine extractions was well over 12 months, while those who required hospital treatment were informed that the wait was 39 weeks. There is also a backlog at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, with some children waiting over 50 weeks for inpatient treatment. 

To ease pressure and tackle waiting lists, dentists from The Aberdeen Clinic will have access to NHS Grampian facilities and additional clinics that will operate on weekends will be staffed by the private company. 

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian confirmed the details of the agreement, revealing that the contract for additional services had been awarded to The Aberdeen Clinic, part of TAC Healthcare, with a view to working through waiting lists and ensuring patients receive treatment as quickly as possible.

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