S Cumbria Worst For NHS Dentist Access .

Dentistry

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16 March 2019, 06:37 | Updated: 16 March 2019, 06:39

Dentist

Some people in Barrow face a 90 mile round trip to Whitehaven to see an NHS dentist.

The British Dental Association says NHS surgeries don't have the money to recruit or keep staff.

Not a single job vacancy has been filled in Cumbria for a year.

Furness MP John Woodcock said: “This is an issue that local dentists have been approaching me about for some time, but it is still concerning that my constituents are being directed as far as Whitehaven. This is placing a clear barrier to accessible, and affordable, NHS dental health care that should be guaranteed under law.

“Arbitrary quotas are forcing Barrow dentists to turn patients away and our local practices are failing to recruit as a result of mounting pressures. It is a vicious cycle that is forcing those who can’t spare the time or money to travel to forgo vital dental treatment.

“The NHS needs to up its game when it comes to recruitment and retention, particularly in towns like Barrow. Our dentists are unfairly shouldering the burden by having to foot the bill to meet hefty government targets.”

People in Windermere are looking at 86-mile round trips to be seen.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said: “This is a literal kick in the teeth for everyone here in South Cumbria.

“Patients, who have already paid for NHS dentistry through their taxes, deserve better than colossal 90-mile round trips for treatment.

“Health bosses urgently need to grip of the situation before this escalates into a full-blown national crisis.”