Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Richard Lochhead MSP received an update from NHS Grampian on local health issues today, including the provision of NHS dentists in Moray.

Constituents have been in touch with Moray’s MSP regarding the difficulties they’ve had accessing an NHS dentist locally, with some having been de-registered by their practice.

NHS Grampian has confirmed that no practices in Moray are currently accepting NHS patients just now but that work is underway to improve access.

Commenting on the difficulties experienced by any constituents accessing a dentist, Mr Lochhead said:

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the urgent situation around a lack of NHS dentists available in Moray with NHS Grampian.

“It is a serious concern that some patients have been de-registered from their practice and are unable to register with another NHS dentist in Moray. It seems that folk aren’t even able to be added to a waiting list at the moment.

“According to NHS Grampian’s Head of Dentistry, covid has had an impact on getting new staff into the system, and he also highlighted the loss of dentists from the EU as another key factor.

“I welcome the fact that funding is being put in place to try to address some of the issues in Moray and that discussions are taking place with existing practices who are interested in opening dental surgeries in Elgin. I’ve urged NHS Grampian to ensure dental services in Moray is a priority for them to will be meeting with the Chief Executive again soon to discuss this further.”

NHS Grampian also gave an update on plans for minor injury units in Moray that remain closed. Units in Keith, Buckie and Dufftown have been closed since the pandemic and are now under review.

Mr Lochhead expressed concern at the lack of commitment to their reopening and highlighted the need for services to be available in these communities.

On minor injury units Moray’s SNP MSP added:

“NHS Grampian provided an update on plans for the minor injury units in Keith, Buckie and Dufftown, and the review that’s being carried out across the region as to how best to deliver these services.

“I do have some serious concerns about the impact on these communities should the units not reopen, given that many vulnerable people in rural areas would be unable to travel to Elgin should they need to access this service. People do need to be able to access services within their local community and we can’t be in a position where everything is centralised, whether that’s in Elgin or in Aberdeen."