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1:16pm Tuesday 16th September 2008 in By Beth Abbit
A CARNFORTH man has a permanent toothache after problems with his NHS dentist.
Andrew Kay is suffering with the pain of a temporary filling after he was struck off the NHS list.
Having arranged appointments at the Central Dental Practice on Fenton Street, Lancaster, for his whole family, Mr Kay was surprised when the practice manager called to cancel 15 minutes before the appointment.
He was told he had to travel 60 miles to a practice in Carlisle or wait four months for another appointment.
And a few days later Mr Kay was struck off their NHS list.
Tobias Berr, a partner at Central Dental Practice, said Mr Kay was verbally abusive.
“Abusing our staff is something we can’t tolerate, so we struck him off. We are happy to treat the rest of his family but we won’t tolerate abusive patients,” he says.
Mr Kay admits that he lost his temper but denies the allegations.
“I may have been critical but I was not abusive,” he says. “Dental practices can no longer be criticised. If you do criticise your dentist they dismiss you as they are fully aware that there are hundreds of other people waiting to find a dentist.”
Mr Kay says his main source of frustration comes from the lack of a response from North Lancashire Primary Care Trust and its chief executive Ian Cumming.
“I can’t get a response from Ian Cumming because he hasn’t got a response. He believes he is beyond reproach. It’s been shoddy all the way through,” he told the Citizen.
Mr Cumming says: “We are undertaking an investigation into this, if Mr Kay contacts us we will be happy to ensure the provision of emergency NHS dental treatment.”
Geraldine Smith, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale says the Government has taken steps to improve dental care in the region through the Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe.
“There was quite a big shortage of dentists in the area a few years ago. The situation has improved considerably but it’s true to say there is still a shortage,” she says.
“As for Mr Kay, we will do everything we can to get him some national health dental care.”