DENTISTRY: LibDems reveal SNP’s response to dental crisis is non-existent

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today revealed that the Scottish Government’s dentistry advisory group, announced in March 2022 as it’s response to the crisis in Scottish dentistry, does not exist.

The Scottish Government’s freedom of information response, dated 20 September, stated:

“The Dental Advisory Group is currently in the process of being set-up. The membership of the group has not been confirmed and no meetings have taken place.”

This is despite a further Scottish Liberal Democrat showing that there are now 400 dentists offering NHS treatment now than before the pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and LibDem leader Alex Cole Hamilton.

Addressing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “There is a dentistry crisis in Scotland.

“It has been getting harder and harder to see a dentist on the NHS, even if you are registered with a practice.

“We’ve found people turning to DIY dentistry in pain and desperation.

“I have here a freedom of information request. It shows that 1 in 10 dentists have stopped doing NHS work since the pandemic. That is 400 fewer offering NHS treatment.

“Dentists have been warning the First Minister that government funding no longer covers the costs. They say ministers have “their heads in the sand”.

“Presiding Officer, the dead hand of ministerial disinterest is at large once again.

“The centrepiece of the Scottish Government’s response to this crisis, six months ago, was the creation of a Dental Advisory Group, but it still doesn’t have any members and it still hasn’t met. This is the group that wasn’t there.

“So can I ask the First Minister, when will it meet and what does she have to say to those patients still waiting in pain?”


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