It’s all smiles at St John’s

People in West Lothian are set to benefit from a state-of-the-art dental unit officially opened by Public Health Minister Shona Robison on (Tuesday, 26 January 2010).

The £500,000 investment, by West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), at St John’s Hospital will provide improved specialist services and allow the training of more dentists.

The new unit, which has 5 dental chairs, will be a major boost to services by giving better access for inpatients at the hospital, patients in the community with complex medical needs and access to specialist orthodontist services.

It will also provide outreach training for postgraduate dentists and dental care students, creating a new generation of professionals including dentists, hygienists/therapists, orthodontic therapists and dental nurses.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said:

“I am pleased to open this fantastic new facility, which will enable dental services provided within St John’s to operate to their maximum potential. The outreach training element will help to increase the dental workforce in Scotland.
“We are investing significantly in NHS dental services and are committed to providing the people of Scotland access to excellent oral healthcare. The number of people who have access to an NHS dentist continues to rise and, with the highest number of dentists working in general dental services since 2003, we are determined that this should continue to improve.”

Dr Charles Winstanley, NHS Lothian chair, said:

 “We are committed to improving the dental health of everyone who lives in Lothian and this latest development will allow us to provide quality services to the West Lothian community. 
“The unit will also further enhance services at St John’s, making the hospital a centre of dental training for Lothian, which will benefit all our patients by providing a range of highly skilled dental care professionals.”

Theresa Douglas, Chair, West Lothian CHCP, said:

 “This is a significant investment in dental services for West Lothian. The new centre will provide more accessible and specialised services for people in their own community.”

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

“Poor oral health is a serious problem in Scotland and this unit will help improve the situation.
“Hospital patients needing urgent dental care and people in the community with complex needs, especially the frail and elderly, will be among the first to benefit.
“This latest expansion will also allow us to train more dental care professionals to service the whole of Lothian in the future.