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The human cost of NHS dentistry chaos


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

I have written a lot in the past about the NHS, but rarely have I touched upon the subject of dentistry – mainly because it’s not an area in which I think I have particularly special knowledge. This missive from a reader of Dr Crippen needs no specialist knowledge:

Several years ago I had an NHS dentist. I saw him regularly albeit reluctantly, he used to do his ‘stuff’ and I’d leave, sometimes sore and sometimes not.

Then I moved house.

The area I moved to has few NHS dentists and none of them has vacancies for new NHS patients. I’ve been on four different waiting lists for several years during which I’ve received no dental treatment.

It started with a single filling falling out, shortly followed by another and then within six months nearly every filling in my head ended up in the bin. I rang all the NHS Dentists in the area but I was turned away. I was not registered and, in any case, they had no vacancies. Some of the dental practices didn’t even bother to talk to me. As soon as I mentioned ‘NHS’ and ‘Not Registered’ they just put the phone down on me.

The full story (well worth reading) wants to remind everybody that the Labour government has done little to improve the health service in any meaningful way – an assessment with which the Health Secretary “Mad” Pat agrees.

Let me remind you, for a moment, of Tony Blair’s conference speech of 1999:

…everyone within the next two years will be able once again to see an NHS dentist just by phoning NHS Direct

Seven years later, and NHS dentistry is in a worse state than when Tony Blair made his pledge.

Another broken promise. Another absent apology.

This 976th post was filed under: Health, News and Comment, Politics.

More posts worth reading

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TV I’ve been watching lately (published 9th January 2018)

HP Support Blog: A belated introduction (published 22nd August 2006)

HIV: A justifiable cause du jour? (published 18th June 2007)

Photo-a-day 81: Kitchen clock (published 21st March 2012)

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