"My experience with the orthadontic department "

About: Montfield Hospital

(as the patient),

Appointments are difficult to get and are far and few between. I also felt that there was very little progress made over the course of the appointments for my braces while I was mainly a resident in Shetland. When I told the department I was moving away to university they took no steps to assure a transfer to an orthodontist on the mainland. I told them of my definite and confirmed move six months before I moved. Nothing was done until the a temporary member of staff asked me why I had not been transferred sooner. My braces have been on for 3 years now due to this poor and disappointing service when I was initially told that they would only be on for a year to a year and a half

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Response from Barbara Foran, Assistant Complaints Officer, Chief Executive's Department, NHS Shetland

I am sorry that you have been experiencing problems with ongoing orthodontic treatment but without knowing details of this individual case it is not possible for me to be able to comment further. However I can make some general comments about orthodontic provision in Shetland.

NHS Shetland is currently without a substantive orthodontist, however, in the meantime, two visiting consultant orthodontists are working in Shetland at weekends to provide an orthodontic service and progress patient treatment.

It is not unusual for orthodontic patients to go several months between orthodontic appointments with no detrimental effect on their treatment plan. In some cases, particularly with younger patients, it may even be necessary to wait several months between treatments to allow the jaw to recover from any remedial work carried out as part of the overall treatment plan.

Similarly, there can be several reasons why treatment may not have been transferred to the mainland in a timely fashion but again, without knowing the details of the case I cannot be more specific. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your case further.

Pippa Arbon

Dental Director, NHS Shetland

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