People in the Clyde area who experience dental problems outwith normal hours will now be able to access the Glasgow Emergency Dental Service currently in place in the Greater Glasgow area.
The service, which will change its name to the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Emergency Dental Service (GGCEDS), will deal with extractions, arresting bleeding, emergency restorative procedures and prescriptions, required out of hours and will be carried out at the Dental Hospital or seeing in-patient care being fast tracked to the Oral Surgery Department at the Southern.
Aileen Duncan, Clinical Service Manager for Oral Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said:
"The dentists in Clyde are absolutely delighted with this arrangement because it is a better and more co-ordinated way of working."
She added: "Patients will be speaking to trained staff who can refer them for treatment, or in emergency circumstances, send them for oral surgery at the Southern General Hospital."
At the moment, patients in Clyde requiring emergency out of hours treatment have to telephone their own dentist at home, while those working in group practices organised their own "on call" rotas.This new way of working will not only benefit patients, but dentists in the Clyde area will find it a big plus.
Alastair Swanson is a dentist in the Clyde area and he is delighted with the new arrangements.He said:"As a single handed dental practitioner I was excited about the prospect of NHS 24 triaging the emergency calls of my patients knowing they would be able to access advice and care from professionally trained nurses and dedicated dentists at the Glasgow Dental Hospital.
"Before this service was introduced each weekend and weekday I had to be available to attend to emergency patients if and when required.Although actual emergencies were infrequent there was always the possibility and therefore my activities both, professionally and socially, were limited, which in turn affected my family life.
"I am also grateful to NHS 24 for dealing with the dental problems of the 50% of the population who are unregistered and who do not have a dental practitioner, including travellers and homeless people."
Around 52% of adults and 32% of children are not registered with a dentist in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.This will ensure these patients can access emergency dental treatment when needed.
Although the service is in its infancy it will be monitored to see if there is a need for extending the service to local areas to support the needs of the local population.
Alan Gerrish, Director of Dental Services (Clyde), said:"The arrangement for a dental out-of-hours emergency service covering patients in the Clyde area is welcome news for both patients and dentists alike.
"A single point of contact for any patient with a dental emergency out-of-hours, including for the first time those who are unregistered, will result in a more effective and straightforward system which overcomes the confusion many people currently experience around how to access dental advice or care.
"The development is equally good news for dentists who will find meeting their obligation to provide emergency care much easier to deliver as part of a large team with robust nurse triage arrangements."
Notes to Editors
The Glasgow Emergency Dental Service was launched in Glasgow in April, 2002, to cater for dental emergencies for registered and non-registered patients unable to access outside surgery hours.
Last year the Glasgow Dental Hospital dealt with 1,578 emergency, out of hours, patients.
The service is currently provided by up to 60 dentists from the Greater Glasgow area with a further 14 colleagues joining the rota from the Clyde area.
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.