Uists dental care dispute outcome looks set to be revealed at meeting

A long-running wrangle over the future of dental services in Uist could take another twist this week as the results of a dispute resolution process could finally become known.

Nearly two years ago, the Western Isles Integrated Joint Board (IJB), opted for ‘a single hub located in the Uist and Barra Hospital but with outreach capability’, as its preferred model for the future of the service, and a consultation process was begun.

A report before this week’s meeting of the IJB states that following that consultation, the proposal was put to the IJB meeting in February 2018 and the recommendation for the preferred option was put to the vote.

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That vote was tied 4-4, and the IJB’s dispute resolution process was triggered.

Now, it is anticipated that the outcome of that process will be reported at the IJB Board meeting this week.

In December, members of the Board asked for a report on activity levels for the dental service in Uist, and a report before this week’s meeting confirms that: ‘The move from Lochboisdale to Liniclate did not see any reduction in activity from the dentist involved’.

The reports states that ‘instead, a steady growth in the registration list is evident, and a noticeable increase in the courses of treatment completed (CoTs). Neither has there been a substitution of patients from the other dentist based in Liniclate, who has also shown an increase in registrations and CoTs completed. Looking at the service overall, we see a 10.7 per-cent increase in the number of CoTs’.

The report concludes: ‘In terms of registration, there was a decline in total registrations at the end of the summer in 2016; this followed the retirement of a dentist based in Liniclate. Registrations have now more than recovered to the level of early 2016 when four dentists were working in Uist’.