Why is there a waiting list?

Since 2006, under the terms of the new contract, NHS Local Commissioning Teams have been able to control the size of contracts held by orthodontists. This means that sometimes there is a mismatch between the number of patients who want and qualify for treatment and the availability of funding, resulting in a waiting list.

The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) would like all children who need treatment to be able to access it at the optimum time in their development, on average at about the age of 12. According to the legislation, any child deemed by a specialist to need treatment is entitled to receive it.

During the current period of change within the Local NHS Commissioning Teams there is no reliable information as to how this will change availability and access to treatment and hence waiting times.