Friday 28 June 2019
The Children's Dental Service has recently experienced a significant rise in the number of families with children who are eligible to use the service.
We have ascertained that this is in part due to the merger between supplementary benefit and the rent rebate scheme into a new Income Support scheme. This change has meant nearly 500 more children now qualify for the Children's Dental Service, albeit there are also other factors which are placing pressure on the service.
The level of increase in demand is such that the Service has recently been unable to provide the check-up element of the 3.5-year check that is available to every child. We are urgently looking for alternative options to accommodate the added demand, as it is of course right that parents who are eligible for the service are able to seek appointments and HSC believes it is incredibly important that children receive good dental care.
We apologise to those parents who, for the time being, are not able to access the service as they had expected, and we wish to assure anyone who has been turned away from the service for a 3.5-year check-up that we will be in touch with them to offer an alternative as soon as we are able to do so. We also wish to reassure any parent who has sought a private check-up as a result of not being able to access the 3.5 year check will still be able to receive any follow-up treatment that is required from the Children's Dental Service.
HSC hopes to be able to reinstate a full level of service as soon as possible.