Painful dental delays at hospital

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More than 250 patients have been waiting longer than four months for a first appointment with a dental consultant at Altnagelvin Hospital.

This compares to a combined total of 12 patients waiting a similar time in all other Trust regions in Northern Ireland.

A total of 380 patients have been waiting at least 15 weeks for a first consultation in the Trust area. The combined figure for the other Trusts is 36.

Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood has described the situation as “not good enough”.

The figures came to light following an Assembly question from Mr. Eastwood to the Health Minister Edwin Poots. Mr. Eastwood was taking the Minister to task following the recent Journal story about a 72 year-old found trying to pull his own teeth with pliers because of the pain he was in.

The Western Trust said patients from the Northern Trust have been added to the list. There is also ‘reduced consultant time’.