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Half of adults shun the dentist, newborn care under scrutiny and why whiskey makers are being blamed for Scots' boozing

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Half of adults have not been to the dentist in the past two years, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal.

But, according to the Telegraph, health chiefs are blaming apathy rather than odontophobia (dentist fear) for the poor turnout.

Many people are also failing to take their children to the dentist, with 40% not having been for the past year.

Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty of dental surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: ‘It’s appalling that tooth decay remains the most common reason why five-to-nine-year-olds are admitted to hospital; in some cases for multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic – despite tooth decay being almost entirely preventable.’

The CQC has launched an investigation into the standards of newborn care in England, drawing on the death of a baby who died in 2001 from a wrongly inserted breathing tube, the BBCreports.

Prof Edward Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said: ‘[W]e know from our inspections of maternity services there is a marked difference in the quality of the care provided. We want to highlight good practice so that it can be shared, but also to identify what is stopping hospitals from providing good or outstanding care.’

Over 1,000 Scottish people drank themselves to an early grave last year, official figures show, up by 5% the year before - and the BMA blames the country’s whiskey makers.

Overall however, the health of Scots did improve with longer life expectancy, fewer suicides and the largest-ever population, the Daily Express reports. Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of BMA Scotland, said affordability was the problem, with whiskey makers blocking the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol.

He said: ‘It is a continuing frustration that legislation to introduce minimum unit pricing of alcohol has been delayed due to the legal challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association.’

Readers' comments (2)

  • Spuds

    Tsk, tsk Pulse. There are no Scotch Whiskey makers. There are only whisky makers here. I think whiskey is a slightly similar drink produced and consumed by less discerning people in a land far, far away, but I'm not entirely sure.

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  • Point to consider: People do not 'shun the dentist' - they avoid them because it costs to go to a Dentist. Hence we have those requests for antibiotics as there is a tooth abscess and a script request for Duraphate tooth paste.
    Put a £18 charge for the GP consultation and you will suddenly be talking of people 'shunning the GP'

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