Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin demands answers on orthodontics closure

Dudley MP Ian Austin is demanding answers over the closure of orthodontic services at Russells Hall Hospital.

The service closed to new referrals in January to deal with a long waiting list for treatment. Austin is concerned that new patients will have to wait indefinitely for treatment.

Despite indications that alternative arrangements would be made, all orthodontic advice for health professionals, including GPs, has been removed.

This means that doctors are unable to get orthodontic advice on matters such as child protection, medically ill patients, cleft lips and palates, and speech and eating disorders. Additionally, dentists are unable to seek advice on the assessment and treatment of their patients.

Mr Austin has written to local NHS officials expressing his concern at the lack of treatment and advice available in the area, and to ask what is being done to ensure alternative arrangements are made.

Ian Austin said:

“Like anyone else who lives in Dudley and uses Russells Hall, I’m really concerned that patients needing to see a specialist are being turned away.

“I have asked local officials to set out what they are doing to ensure orthodontic treatment and advice is resumed as soon as possible."

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