Scottish dentists worry about ‘paralysing’ NHS Coronavirus guidelines
Dentists in Scotland are worried about the implications of ongoing Coronavirus restrictions.
Sheila Macintyre, from the Scottish Dental Association, claims that the current guidelines are contributing to the paralysis of NHS dentistry. Ms Macintyre, who runs a practice in Renfrewshire, suggested that the policies currently enforced by the Scottish Government have created a two-tier NHS and private system, which is leaving NHS dentists unable to provide their patients with the treatment they need. Measures that currently apply to NHS dentistry mean that some services are unavailable, and this is causing patients to pay for private treatment, according to Ms Macintyre.
At the moment, most mixed and NHS surgeries are not providing AGPs (aerosol-generating procedures) and this means that patients who need procedures like extractions and fillings are resorting to DIY treatment or being forced into paying to see a private dentist. Ms Macintyre said that there does not seem to be a clear reason why private and NHS surgeries are functioning differently, and called for regulations to be adjusted to allow NHS dentists to provide a wider range of services.
Dentists claim that the existing measures are making it difficult to offer advice for patients, as they don’t yet know when additional services will be back up and running and some patients cannot afford to pay to go private. There are also differences in guidelines for PPE, which is adding to the confusion.
For the moment, patients who require urgent treatment in Scotland are advised to contact their regular dentist. If they need emergency assistance, and the clinic is unable to administer the relevant treatment, dentists can refer patients to urgent care hubs.Join this Discussion