Burton Residents Concerned Amid Fears Home Dental Service Will Be Shut Down

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There is concern among residents in Burton and South Derbyshire after reports suggested a valuable home dental service will be shut down.

It has emerged that elderly patients who struggle to get out of the house face an uncertain future regarding their teeth, as many are reliant on the at-home dental service. Councillor Gill Farrington, chair of South Derbyshire Council’s scrutiny committee, said that elderly residents are understandably concerned about the closure of the service and highlighted the impact the move would have by telling local press about a 100-year-old lady she had recently met. This lady is house bound because she suffers from osteoporosis and was recently told she wouldn’t be able to see a dentist for two months.

Health chiefs explained the move by saying that domiciliary dental care had been scrapped as a mandatory element of the dental contract in 2006. This is due to concerns about dentists carrying equipment around with them and having to seek consent from the relatives or advocates in some cases where patients suffer from dementia or other illnesses.

Head of primary care for NHS England in Staffordshire, Rebecca Woods, said the range of treatments that can be provided safely and effectively in a home setting is very restricted. Jonathan Rycroft, head of primary care in NHS England Derbyshire, explained that new measures have been introduced to improve access to dental care for the elderly as a result of collaborative work between the authority, the Dental Local Professional Network and Derbyshire Community Health Services.

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