Written evidence submitted by Mr Michael Furminger (DTY0034)
What steps should the Government and NHS England take to improve access to NHS dental services?
My wife and I moved from Scotland to Cornwall November 2019 and applied to register for an NHS dentist. The Cornwall system seemed simple – you went on a waiting list and would be informed when a local dentist became available. The system doesn’t work. We have been on a waiting list for more than 3 years with no NHS dentist.
A year ago I contacted my MP Sheryll Murray to ask why there wasn’t a viable service in Cornwall. After two sets of correspondence, I was unable to find out where we were on any waiting list.
The result is I have had to pay very high charges for local private treatment in Lostwithiel. Dentistry in the Lostwithiel private sector is excellent but at a very high cost. My concern is I can’t afford treatment going forward. The treatment plan for two crowns is estimated at £1493. I’m sure this is a market typical charge but I am already paying for a national service which isn’t on offer.
Further to this I have made contact with local dentist service in St Austell – they offered NHS plus extra charge service – however after two visits which I paid for they were unwilling or unable to tackle my damaged tooth. They advised me to go to Lostwithiel!
Based on my experience I would ask that:
How should inequalities in accessing NHS dental services be addressed?