NHS Lothian Invests £500,000 at St John’s Hospital

NHS Lothian is to increase access to specialist dental services at St John’s Hospital, West Lothian with a major investment of £500,000.

The funding will provide training for more dental care professionals and more space for the maxillo-facial services – for which the hospital is now the centre of excellence across Lothian and the south east of Scotland.

Five new dentists’ chairs are planned and will be a major boost to services, giving better access for hospital in-patients and community patients with complex medical problems. Specialist orthodontic services for West Lothian will also be provided from this location, as well as Saturday and Sunday emergency dental clinics.

Robert Naysmith, Clinical Director of Community Dental Services, NHS Lothian said:


“Poor oral health is a serious problem in Scotland and this project will help improve the situation.
“Hospital patients needing urgent dental care and people with complex medical problems will be among the first to benefit.
“In addition, the training chairs will contribute towards the creation of a whole new generation of dental care professionals to serve the whole of the community.”


Jim Forrest, Acting Director of West Lothian CHCP, said:
“This latest round of investment will further enhance services at St John’s and importantly will provide additional dental services for the West Lothian community.
“We are determined to continue building our dental services to serve the local population and do all we can to improve dental health in the area.”
Professor Richard Ibbetson, Director of the Edinburgh Dental Institute said:
“The Institute welcomes the opportunity to contribute to developing an improved clinical service with easier access to specialist orthodontic care in West Lothian. The development of these new clinical facilities will also support training of the dental team and further enhance the dental services for local residents.”
It is hoped that the new chairs will be ready for use by August 2009, ready for the next intake of students at the Edinburgh Dental Institute Training School.
It is just one of a series of measures being taken to address the shortage of dental professionals and to meet government targets on access to dental care.
Additional space will be opened up to the St John’s maxillo-facial team which has increased expertise with two more surgeons and an associate specialist.
Their work is vital in helping a variety of patients including those who have suffered facial injuries in accidents or who have cancer of the head or neck.