Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Fury over gaps in isle’s dental service

Post Thumbnail

A young disabled woman has revealed how she struggled to find any dentist to treat her in the whole of the Shetland Isles.

It emerged recently that 600 Shetlanders waiting for NHS appointments had been told by health chiefs to look further afield because it was unlikely they “would be seen in the future.”

NHS Shetland employs just seven dentists in the public dental service (PDS) where patients are guaranteed NHS care.

The board has long had difficulties in recruiting and retaining dentists.

Yesterday, disabled 21-year-old Samantha Gray from Gulberwick told how she waited two years for fillings and “ended up having to switch practice because my teeth started falling to bits.”

She said: “It’s a shame to see a public dental service can’t provide the care needed by the isles population, especially for those with disabilities and conditions that affect their oral health, who should be a priority.

“Serious thought must be given to what the health board and, even more so, the government is doing about this issue.

“The service is vital, especially for those who can’t afford the prices of certain independent practices or private practices.”

NHS Shetland declined to comment on individual cases.

But a spokeswoman said: “We’re looking to encourage patients to register with the independent NHS practice to improve the service they’re getting in terms of accessing appointments.

“The PDS has been pressured by the lack of an independent practice in Shetland but this has now changed.”

She said there were no constraints on funding NHS patients for independent practice dental care.

“In fact, there’s Scottish Government financial support to help attract independent practices to Shetland,” she said. “The Lerwick practice has capacity to register more patients, so access to dental care is not the issue.

“Our PDS does not have capacity to register new patients, which is why we’re directing people to the local independent practice. It offers treatment at the same NHS rates that the PDS charges.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in