Jersey patients waiting years for orthodontic treatment
ST HELIER, Jersey: Patients on the island of Jersey are having to wait up to five years for orthodontic treatment, according to local newspaper the Jersey Evening Post. The patients are primarily children, and a government spokesperson has described the waiting times as “unacceptably high”.
Until recently, patients had been waiting for as long as two years for an orthodontic consultation at the hospital, and an additional period of four years is typically needed to complete treatment. The waiting time for a consultation has since been reduced to ten months, but treatment time remains lengthy.
“The current waiting time for [completing orthodontic] treatment is four years and ten months, which Health and Community Services acknowledge is unacceptably high,” the government spokesperson told the newspaper. “It is important to clarify that treatment involves a process of multiple clinic appointments over a period of approximately 18 months to 24 months per patient,” she added.
Treatment times for other dental services on the island have almost halved in the last 12 months, from a waiting period of 55 weeks in August 2018 to 28 weeks this year.
According to the newspaper, the reason for the lag in orthodontic treatment is a shortage of orthodontic consultants across the whole of the British Isles. The drop in consultation waiting times has been made possible because of a visiting UK consultant who sees new referrals only. The local health service said it is struggling to recruit a second orthodontic consultant and added that having an additional consultant would significantly reduce orthodontic treatment times.