OAP's round trip of 260 miles to dentist
PUBLISHED: 12:44 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 15 June 2010
A HONITON pensioner is making a round trip of 260 miles to access an NHS dentist. Tony Simpson, 66, of Ashleigh Road, has been unable to find an NHS dentist since moving to Honiton almost three years ago. He is still using his former dentist, in Wales, an
A HONITON pensioner is making a round trip of 260 miles to access an NHS dentist.Tony Simpson, 66, of Ashleigh Road, has been unable to find an NHS dentist since moving to Honiton almost three years ago.He is still using his former dentist, in Wales, and says he won't go private "on principle".Speaking as Citizens' Advice revealed a new survey shows up to 2.7m people are going without treatment because they can't access NHS dentistry services, Mr Simpson said: "There isn't an NHS dentist locally. I have enquired."While I'm waiting to find a local NHS dentist, I'm travelling back to Wales for treatment."It is a round trip of 260 miles, but I want an NHS dentist on principle."Mr Simpson added: "The NHS is supposed to be available to all. "The NHS is 50 years old this year and dentists are less available now than when it was started."Citizens' Advice says survey findings suggest up to 7.4m people have tried and failed to see a dentist. Of those, 4.7m eventually opt to go private, leaving 2.7m to go without treatment altogether.David Harker, chief executive of Citizens' Advice, said: "People on low incomes are particularly affected as private treatment is not an option."Andrew Harris, who is in charge of dentistry at Devon Primary Care Trust, said: "We have done a lot to make it easier for people to get an NHS dentist in the last year, and we are confident that we can find Mr Simpson an NHS dentist much nearer his home to save him this travelling. If he rings our dentistry help line on 0845 002 0034, we will let him know when we have found him a place.
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