A request for information about lack of adequate dental services in Orkney

Currently waiting for a response from Orkney NHS Board, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Orkney NHS Board,

On 21st December 2017 I went to my dentist’s to make an appointment, as I had dislodged a filling the day before. I was told I was no longer registered with them, and was given a list of three alternative clinics, and also told I could make an appointment only under an emergency scheme.

The clinic was King Street Dental Clinic in Kirkwall, Orkney. Of the alternative clinics one was private, one was 15 miles away and the other had no vacancies. I could not afford a private clinic as I am 77 years old and receiving pension credit.

My internet researches have revealed the following information about dental services in Scotland and Orkney, which confirm that I should not have been deregistered without warning.

After I have listed these references I will list the questions I have to ask as my Freedom of Information request

• “When you register with a dentist you’ll be registered for life, unless you or your dentist request your registration to be withdrawn” https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-...

• A dentist in Scotland must comply with “National Health Service (General Dental Practice) (Scotland) Regulations 2010. The legislation says that a dentist who wants to terminate an arrangement shall give the patient no less than three months' notice of this in writing. Where a dentist does this, they must complete all care and treatment that it was agreed the patient was to receive before termination of the arrangement. The dentist must also provide any further treatment necessary to maintain the patient's oral health.” https://www.theddu.com/guidance-and-advi...

• A freedom of information request reveals that the initial report (2011?) of a review of dental services in Orkney contained a proposal (9.1) “to move to offering dental registration for all residents of Orkney. We understand from subsequent correspondence that this has now become a local policy.” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Why did my dentist request that I be deregistered?
How many other patients were deregistered, or are to be deregistered by this clinic on
this occasion?
What percentage of patients of this clinic does the above deregistration amount to?
What criteria were used to decide which of the clinic’s patients were to be deregistered?
Were any of the clinic’s patients offered re-registration as NHS patients? If so, how
many?
Were any of the clinic’s patients offered re-registration as private patients? If so, how
many?
How many of the deregistered patients have received three months’ notice in writing and does this include an explanation for the action?
What efforts have the clinic made to ensure that their deregistered patients can be
registered with another NHS dentist either at the same clinic or elsewhere in
Kirkwall?
Has NHS Orkney carried out its intention to offer dental registration to all residents of
Orkney?
If I am unable to register with another NHS dentist, will my usual checkups and
treatment be available via the emergency service?
And if not, how will NHS Orkney arrange for me to have the dental treatment that I am
entitled to?
How many complaints about Orkney dental services, excluding FOI requests, have
NHS Orkney received since 2005 ?
How many FOI requests about dental sevices have NHS Orkney received since 2005,
and where may they be seen?

Yours faithfully,

Julie Switsur

FOIRequests (NHS ORKNEY), Orkney NHS Board

FOI Request – Acknowledgment of Receipt
I hereby acknowledge receipt of the request detailed below:
Reference number allocated to this request:
201718-455
(Please quote this reference number in any future correspondence relating to this request.)
The official date of your request is:
27/12/2017
A response should be sent to your request no later than:
26/01/2018

Note: NHS Orkney is a small remote and rural health board within Scotland. All responses to Freedom of Information requests are collated in accordance with the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 states that a public authority must inform the applicant in writing whether it holds the requested information and if so, communicate that information to the applicant, promptly, but not later than 20 working days after receipt of the request.

For further details please refer to The Scottish Information Commissioner’s website.

Sent by:
Freedom of Information Office
NHS Orkney
Headquarters, Garden House, New Scapa Road,
Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1BQ

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