Minister urges dental patients to go to their practice

GPs may have to deal with dental work if patients struggle to find a local NHS dentist.

Ben Bradshaw
Speaking on the BBC Radio Four Today programme this week, health minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘If people need urgent treatment they should go to either their GP or the PCT and demand what is their right.’

The call follows an NHS feedback survey of over 5,000 patients, which showed 20 per cent had refused dental treatment because of expense and 6 per cent had treated themselves.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said afterwards: ‘Family doctors are not qualified as dentists and cannot pick up the pieces if there are not enough NHS dentists to go round.’

Dr Buckman urged Mr Bradshaw to correct his statement that dental patients in pain should visit their GP or PCT.

Dr Buckman added: ‘The government is constantly talking about increased access to general practice. Sending patients on a wild good chase isn’t going to help an already overworked service. Patients should contact their PCT for help.’

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