REGARDING the article ‘Blunder forces dental patients out of town’ I would like to share my own experience in that two week window when no service was offered in Warrington.
It was me who brought this matter to the attention of Helen Jones MP.
I was unfortunate enough to suffer severe toothache on Sunday, November 11. First thing Monday morning I went to the dentist I was registered with to be told I must re-register as I had not been for over 12 months.
This I did but despite the fact that I was in extreme pain, they could not or would not offer me an appointment until December 7 and that would be for assessment only and no treatment would be offered on that day. I asked what I could do and they referred me to Garven Place even though it no longer exists.
I went to the new place in Legh Street and was told that they were not treating patients due to a technical problem. I was told to ring Wednesday morning when I might be seen. This I did but once again was turned away and given no other option. Instead, as the pain was so bad, I went to my GP and she prescribed antibiotics which went a long way to easing the problem.
Finally, with the help of my GP and her staff, I was referred to the dental surgery in Froghall Lane who gave me an appointment 48 hours later. I had waited 11 days to be treated.
I realise a lot of what I am saying is repeating what was already in the article but I wanted to highlight that I was not referred anywhere else by the receptionist and even she said that it was not a walk in clinic.
My interpretation of the word emergency needs immediate attention and it appears that in Warrington we have no such facility for dental patients even if this blunder had not happened.
It may be said that it was my fault for letting my registration with my dentist slip but what if I were a visitor to this town? If I had had a painful problem in any other part of my body I would have been able to get treatment very quickly.
Dental treatment, however, appears to be the exception but pain is pain.
VAL DRINKWATER Warrington