NHS Dentist group say issue to go to MSPs

The Islands' dental health service is coming under increasing scrutiny.
The Islands' dental health service is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Margaret Murray of the Campaign for NHS Dentistry in the Isles (CNDI), has responded to last week’s Stornoway Gazette story on the ongoing issues between the campaign group and the Western Isles Health Board.

In a statement submitted to the Gazette Mrs Murray claims things are ‘very wrong’ as she countered each of the claims made by the Health Board last week as she also revealed she has contacted MSP’s to take the Scottish Government ‘to account.’

NHS Western Isles have pointed to independent figures produced by the National Dental Inspection Programme which they claim show that over the last 10 years children’s dental health locally has been transformed, from the worst in Scotland to the point where there is nowhere better, illustrating the value and commitment of dental staff in the Western Isles.

But Mrs Murray has disputed this claim,

She said: “I would suggest that the provenance and veracity of these figures deserve to be investigated just as much as they do in respect of the distorted registration figures.

“It is absolutely extraordinary that the Board should make such a claim, when the number of children (under 18s) on the Isle of Lewis who are registered with a dentist has fallen from 3216 in 2014-15 to 2437 in 2016-17.

“That is a fall of 24%. (Those figures come from the Board’s response to the Freedom of Information request).

“That such a large proportion of children are unregistered with a dentist should be a matter of concern, not for celebration.”

Mrs Murray added: “This matter is now on the desks of MSPs who have undertaken to hold the Scottish Government to account on this entire matter.”