NHS Grampian (Dentistry)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th May 2013.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

The member referred to the Scottish dental access initiative that was developed to increase the number of dental practices that will register NHS patients, particularly in areas in which there is a lack of service. He rightly recognises that there has been a significant increase in the level of NHS dentistry that is being made available within the NHS Grampian area. It is part of the condition of that grant that a significant number of the dental practice patients are registered as NHS patients and individual boards are responsible for monitoring that.

There have been some issues with a practice in Grampian that NHS Grampian took appropriate action to address. I understand that NHS Grampian has also written to all the practices that have received support through the Scottish dental access initiative to ensure that their status remains the same and that they are delivering the services that are agreed on as part of the grant conditions.

The point about check-up rates is very important. It may be helpful if I inform the member that 83.6 per cent of patients who are registered in Grampian presented for treatment in the previous two years. That figure is higher than the Scottish average of 79.3 per cent, so it is clear that a significant number of patients in Grampian are making use of NHS dentistry services, the provision of which has significantly increased under this Government. I have no doubt that patients will continue to benefit from the increasing level of access that has been made available to them.