A primary school was forced to organise free dental visits for its students in the face of an access crisis.
West Earlham Infant School in Norfolk took action after staff members expressed worry over the dental problems experienced by pupils, reports the Norwich Evening News.
When parents were contacted, they said they were finding it difficult to make appointments for their children because of an NHS dentist shortage.
Now, the school has collaborated with John G Plummer Associates dentists. This meant around 180 students were seen by a dentist on the school grounds – all free of charge.
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A new report by Healthwatch highlights the widespread dentistry problems in places such as Norfolk. It states those living in the county are struggling to get dental treatment. This is particularly true if a patient is new to the area or has not visited the dentist for a significant time.
Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, said: ‘We get more phone feedback about the difficulty of accessing dental care than anything else.
‘People are finding it impossible to access the help they need at a price they can afford. Some have no alternative but to seek private care or just go without treatment.’
But access troubles are plaguing communities all across the UK.
Recently a family spoke out about opting for a dental visit during their trip to Brazil after struggling to source a dentist in the UK.
The BBC reports that Kedma Woodmansey was struggling to find an NHS appointment for herself and her child.
As a result, she was forced to combine trips back to Brazil, where she is originally from, with a visit to the dentist.
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