'Unacceptable and unworkable' dentist waiting times for children in Jersey

  • Video report by Iselin Jones

The Jersey Dental Association have told ITV Channel they continue to be concerned by the waiting times at the Hospital for Children's Dentistry.

It's urging the government to look more closely at long-term provision for children in the island.In a statement it lists the failure to appoint a full-time Consultant Orthodontist in the last 18 months.

The Association also points to a "general lack of staff" in the Dental Department as key factors behind "unacceptable and unworkable" waiting times.

That long-term solution, according to the Dental Association could include Private Practice provision, but it would "need to be properly funded on an ongoing basis".

This week, the Health Department released a Quality and Performance Report, in which they acknowledged that Community Dental was a "key challenge". 17-year old Ella was first referred to the hospital dentist when she was aged nine.

She was told to come back a year later, and six months after that but her mother Georgie Dodd, says there has been no progress in Ella's case since 2015.When she last phoned, she was told Ella had moved from being number 68 to 60 on the waiting list.

When she then sought a private evaluation she was told it would come at a price she could not pay.

Deputy Southern has championed access to dental care for years. He says, we now have to spend to save young people's teeth.

Government say that significant work is underway to create short term additional capacity to speed up treatment of long waiting patients, whilst developing a sustainable long term on-island solution.Meanwhile, the Dental Association accuses the government of a lack of willingness to "properly address the problem".

They say fees for the Jersey Dental Fitness Scheme, which provides for children in lower income households have not been increased for 23 years.

We asked the government to comment and they declined.