Dental Appointments (Children and Young People)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th June 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

The First Minister:

No. However, it is important and right that we be vigilant around that point. It is the NHS that provides the services that people need, whether for healthcare generally or for dental services in particular. I have not personally seen the letter to which Sarah Boyack refers, but I am happy to have a look at it and its response. I know that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care met with the British Dental Association—this week, I think—to discuss those very issues, so there is a real recognition of the importance to support recovery as quickly as possible, in dental services as in the NHS.

To give some context, prior to Covid, NHS dental services provided more than four million courses of treatment every year. A record number of people are registered with an NHS dentist—more than 95 per cent of the population. There are, however, pressures there—some are Covid related and some undoubtedly pre-date Covid. Through funding and efforts to protect from the impacts of Covid and, where necessary, through a redesign of services, the Government will support the profession to ensure that people get the care and treatment that they need, and that they get it on the national health service.