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NHS Highland says there’s a scarcity of orthodontists throughout Scotland

Youngsters in elements of Caithness and Sutherland are having to make 200 mile-long (322 km) spherical journeys for orthodontic remedy in Inverness.

The dental care isn’t accessible on the NHS within the areas.

Campaigners declare 950 orthodontic appointments annually concerned native younger folks, and the journeys had an affect on their examination revision time.

NHS Highland stated it, like different well being boards, was experiencing a scarcity of orthodontic consultants.

It stated it was working with the North of Scotland Planning Group, which is a collaboration between it and Grampian, Orkney, Shetland, Tayside and Western Isles well being boards, on discovering an answer.

Marketing campaign group Caithness Well being Motion Group (Chat) has begun calling for a advisor to be based mostly within the space due to the affect it says the scenario is having on younger folks.

‘Lacking out’

Caithness has by no means had an orthodontist accessible on the NHS, in keeping with NHS Highland.

The closest accessible remedy is at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Attending to the town entails a spherical journey of greater than 200 miles from locations similar to Wick and Thurso in Caithness and Durness in Sutherland.

Marie Aitken, of Chat, stated the lengthy journeys have been affecting younger folks’s education, with some having to attend appointments each six weeks.

She stated: “They’re saying that they don’t seem to be attaining their finest outcomes as a result of they’re lacking out on examination instances and revision instances.

“There may be an affect on their households as a result of they’re having to take time without work work, typically for only a 5 minute appointment simply to get braces tightened up.”

‘Dealing with challenges’

The campaigner added: “Having to go all the way down to Raigmore isn’t honest on the younger folks and it isn’t honest on their households who’ve an extra monetary affect on their lives.”

NHS Highland stated it recognised that orthodontic remedy was “one among numerous challenges going through the healthcare system in our extra distant and rural areas”.

A spokeswoman stated: “We now have not too long ago employed a locum on a part-time foundation based mostly in Inverness however they won’t have the capability to supply a visiting service.

“We apologise to anybody who has to journey to Inverness for remedy however, as a result of this nationwide scarcity, the board doesn’t but have the capability to supply the outreach service that it will want to present and we hope that individuals will perceive.”