The lack of NHS dentists in the north raised in Keys .

Dentistry

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There is twice as much dental provision in the south of the island than there is in the north.

Questions about NHS dental services in the north were raised in the House of Keys by Ramsey LibVan MHK Lawrie Hooper.

New Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said there are two practices delivering NHS dental services in that area - Grove Mount and Smile Dental Care.

He said that following the ’resolution of a recruitment difficulty’, both practices are now fully staffed. Mr Ashford said Smile was recently able to open its list to new NHS patients but demand meant that it had to close its list again last week.

But Mr Hooper said that while the south and north of the island have very similar population numbers and demographics, the south has just over 36,000 units of dental activity of NHS dentist compared to just over 15,000 in the north.

’So there is twice as much NHS dentristy provision in the south of the island as there is in the north. Can the Minister please advise what is he doing to correct this imbalance?’ he asked.

Mr Ashford replied that the recruitment at the two northern dental practices had allowed 293 new patients to be registered over a two week period.

He added: ’There is a current procurement exercise for delivery of NHS services. While I accept the focus of this is on the Douglas area, the actual location of the additional services is dependent on the tender responses received. So it may well be there can be further provision from that process provided in the north.’

Mr Ashford was referring to the tendering exercise launched following news that Douglas dental practice, Ravat and Ray, based at the old Noble’s Hospital site, is to close at the end of March.

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