NHS Western Isles has received and accepted an application to establish a new three-surgery Dental Practice in the centre of Stornoway.
This follows the closure of the Independent Dental Practice, located at the Western Isles Dental Centre, in July.
The new practice will register a minimum of 4500 new NHS dental patients. Patients previously registered with the Dental Practice at the Western Isles Dental Centre can apply for registration at the new practice. Funding has been supported from the Government Scottish Dental Access Initiative.
Western Isles NHS says the new practice will be NHS committed, but will offer patients non NHS treatments also. The exact opening date for the Practice is not known, but likely to be early in 2016.
In the interim period, NHS Western Isles is seeking to agree to lease accommodation to the practice at the Western Isles Dental Centre to allow NHS dental treatment to be provided.
The RK Purvis WI Dental Practice was the previous operator, based at the Dental Centre. Dr Robert Purvis took over Mr Kenneth Macdonald’s Independent Dental Practice following Mr MacDonald’s retirement in September 2014.
When it closed, patients registered with the independent dental practice were automatically transferred to the Health Board Public Dental Service also based at the Western Isles Dental Centre in Stornoway.
NHS dental services in Scotland are provided by either independent dental practitioners or salaried Public Dental Service dentists (employed directly by Health Boards). The majority of NHS dental services across Scotland are provided by independent dentists, however in remote and rural areas, the dental services are often provided directly by Health Boards. In the Western Isles, the majority of people (around 18,500 people) are registered with a Health Board Public Dental Service dentist, with less than 3,000 registered with independent practitioners.