Recently I have been assisting a resident of Braddan to obtain emergency dental treatment.

May I suggest that you try calling Primary Care Services - Tel number 642694 - then select option 2 for dental and optical services.

In my experience it was a futile exercise trying to get to talk to someone, as there was no-one to talk to in person.

After many attempts trying to be connected to a person, in the end I just gave up, as every time I called I was forwarded on to an automated message that announced, ‘Unfortunately all our lines are in use at the moment’.

The time of my calls ranged from 08:31 to late afternoon and over a number of days.

Surely the phone lines can’t possibly be continually in use from 8.31am, which suggests that there is a permanent glitch in the system.

If I was a sceptic, I would suggest that this glitch in the system may have been inserted deliberately. Either way, I will be asking Manx Care to investigate why the auto response appears to be in permanent activation?

I have been forwarded the following information that was recently received by the recipient from Manx Care about dentists where are a set number of “units of dental activity” which are commissioned to NHS dentists currently so any additional commissioning would be on the basis of either a dental practice ceasing, a practice handing back a number of their units of dental activity or a practice’s ongoing underperformance in which case Manx Care may reduce the number that they commission to that practice.

‘Those units of dental activity would go through a procurement exercise which may lead to an existing or a new dental provider being commissioned to provide those units of dental activity.’

I will be asking Manx Care who decided what the set number of ‘units of dental activity’ is, on what basis such decision was made, when such decision was made, what authority such person had to make such decision and why they do not issue more NHS UDA contracts to reduce the NHS dental waiting list?

It appears that we have up to 4,000 residents without an NHS dentist.

Why should this situation be tolerated any longer?

Is Alf Cannan’s government promoting this wonderful service to the potential 15,000 new residents, that Alf is determined to bring to our shores?

Given a worst-case scenario, are we destined to grow the NHS dental waiting list to 19,000 in the next 10 years?

Braddan Commissioners are close to opening the newly-built £9.5m Roundhouse development, in which it is proposed that one of the units will be occupied by a new dental facility,

I have been advised that this facility does not have an NHS UDA Contract, so this new facility, of which the taxpayers have helped fund the construction, will not help to reduce the number of persons on the dentistry waiting list. So, why has government helped to fund this facility?

The current situation can be likened to the extension of the horse tram tracks where Tynwald decided that the tracks should be extended to the Sea Terminal, but ‘someone’ decided not to implement Tynwald’s wishes.

Alf Caine

Strang Road


This letter was first published in the Manx Independent of September 28

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