Minister responds to practices stopping taking on new patients

22 January 2024

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, has said access to dentistry has hit a crisis point after finding no dental practices in Fife were taking on NHS patients. 

Information provided by NHS Fife’s dental advice line said while three practices, two in Dunfermline and one in Kincardine, were allowing patients to be added to their waiting lists, no practices were taking on new NHS patients. Where waiting lists were open, it was noted that there could be a lengthy waiting period. 

Claire said, “The SNP pledged to deliver free dental treatment for all, but now people in Fife cannot even get access to an NHS practice. Patients are being pushed into private practice just so they can see a dentist, and it is unacceptable. 

“For those lucky enough to still have an NHS dentist, prices for patients have increased while the frequency of check-ups has fallen. Scottish dentists called for a patient-centred and prevention-focused model, but the Scottish Government has failed to listen, and the result is more expensive treatment and a crisis in provision. 

“The Scottish Government needs to act now to address this and prevent NHS dental care from further deteriorating.”