Some Evening Sessions Added To Region’s Strained Public Dental Service

ACTION has been agreed which will hopefully bring extra, limited capacity to public dental services in the region. The Public Dental Service (PDS) is currently focused on providing emergency treatments to patients in the region who do not have an NHS dentist.


A reallocation of funding from unfilled posts has now been directed to support some extra hours being added in evenings. This is a small addition to capacity and is designed to test this new way of working and support what is a small service facing large and growing demand.


Director of Dentistry Alison Milne said: “NHS Dumfries and Galloway is acutely aware of the current challenges surrounding access to NHS dental services in the region, in line with the rest of the country.
“A reallocation of funding has now been approved within the Public Dental Service (PDS), but while this may help unlock a little extra capacity the additional money does not mean additional staffing.
“As is so often the case, extra money does not automatically translate into more staff.
“Instead, the funding is supporting an adapted model which allows existing staff to work differently, adding some additional clinics during evenings.
“This modest additional capacity is planned to come online next week delivering clinics out of Dumfries and Newton Stewart.
“But while these evening sessions will hopefully be of benefit to local people and the PDS, it should be understood that this in itself is far from being a solution to the current challenges, and that unless additional dentists are secured the potential to expand this further is limited.
“People who do not have an NHS dentist but who require urgent, emergency treatment can, as usual, make contact with the Public Dental Service by telephoning 0845 602 6417.
“As ever, we would appreciate patience and understanding and request respect be shown to staff at all times, while we continue to work nationally with colleagues in the Scottish Government on actions which can hopefully move us to a better position in terms of NHS dental provision.”