WORK UNDERWAY TO TACKLE ISLAND’S ‘BIGGEST HEALTH INEQUALITY’ AS ISLANDERS STRUGGLE TO GET A DENTIST APPOINTMENT

An assessment of dental needs is being carried out to tackle the ‘biggest health inequality’ the Isle of Wight faces.

Following a report from Healthwatch, which found almost half of Islanders are struggling to get dental treatment, NHS South East has commissioned an oral needs assessment across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It started last month and will look at the existing dental services on the Island, population and deprivation data and travel links.

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The assessment is expected to be completed early next year and hopes to build services into the gaps found in the 6 months following the outcome of the assessment.

Talking to the Isle of Wight Council, Alison Cross, NHS England’s senior dental commissioning manager for the South East, said the commissioning of new services would ensure they are the right ones being put into the right places for the right people.

The problem they face, however, Ms Cross said, is the recruitment and retention of dentists to the Island.

She said:

“As a commissioning team, we cannot help with recruitment but the national team has been made aware of it and there will be a national drive to get dentists to come to the smaller areas.

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“Whatever we do, if we commission services then we need to ensure dentists can work under them. The money is there but it is not being utilised as the dentists cannot deliver it.”

Joanna Smith, Healthwatch Isle of Wight manager, said it was one of the biggest issues Islanders are concerned about.

Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox said she was putting major faith in Ms Cross that she could do something about it.

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said she had been chasing the issue since 2006, and since then the Island has had fewer and fewer NHS dentists.

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She said:

“We have people mending their teeth with superglue and children that have never seen a dentist.

“I hope we are going to think outside the box and when you do come up with a solution we can have a dedicated team – it will be too overwhelming for our dentists to catch up.

“We are going to have to think differently as the backlog is so severe.”

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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
1 month ago

The problem they face, however, Ms Cross said, is the recruitment and retention of dentists to the Island.
…..

why do you need a six month study, that some will benefit financially from for carrying it out, when part of the answer is indicated above.

The other part of the answer is….too many houses being built, too many people, not enough dentists

JHVF
JHVF
1 month ago

Almost exactly the same situation with GP Surgeries, too many people and not enough Surgeries. And still they build houses to bring people to the Island ????

plato
plato
1 month ago

We dont need yet another assessment – we know exactly what the problems are. Stop moving hot air around to try and justify your salaries and actually physical DO SOMETHING about it. I am desperate to get to an NHS dentist for the last 3 YEARS. This is clearly not acceptable whichever way you measure it.

Jim Bean
Jim Bean
Reply to  plato
1 month ago

I’m in the same boat I can’t get an NHS dentist, I’ve had no choice but to go private. I’ve had 3 fillings at £250 each plus hygienist and other consultations so the total spend is around £1000 this year. It’s not money I have to spend either it all had to go on a credit card.

Jonty Don
Jonty Don
1 month ago

Surely this wouldn’t have happened in a City!?!

Fed Up
Fed Up
1 month ago

so pay someone to tell the government what we already know …. then do nothing about it. Aren’t we all getting a bit fed up of these placatory farces?

 

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