Dentistry in Jersey – mounting fears over waiting times for children

Dentistry in Jersey – mounting fears over waiting times for childrenCalls are being made to fix the ‘unworkable’ waiting times at a key hospital for dentistry on a channel island. 

This follows reports that one child has been waiting six years for treatment.

The Jersey Dental Association, speaking to ITV, is urging the government to take a look at the long-term plan for infants’ dental provision.

The group says staffing levels in the Hospital for Children’s Dentistry are part of the problem. As a result, the island is now facing ‘unacceptable’ waiting times, forcing many to look to private care.

Repeated calls

‘As an association we have repeatedly called for an increased investment in dentistry. This has always been treated as the poor relation of medical services.

‘It is still the case that dental extractions under general anaesthesia are the most common reason for admission of children to hospital in the UK,’ it states.

One parent claimed her child’s case has not progressed since 2015. She sought private care but quickly understood it would come at a price that she could not afford.

Protecting the future of Jersey

In its latest Quality and Performance Report, the government described the ‘key challenges’ of community dental work.

Published at the end of last week, it stated that ‘significant work’ is now underway to help cut long waiting lists.

‘Significant work is underway within Community Dental and Ophthalmology to create short term additional capacity. [This is] to expedite treatment of long waiting patients, whilst developing a sustainable long term on-island solution,’ it reads.

Geoff Southern is a deputy in Jersey. He is calling for better funding to prevent future catastrophe on the island.

He said ‘spending to save’ is crucial to protect dentistry and its provision after years of neglect.

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