Dental patient launches petition over PPE surcharge after visiting a dentist in York

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A patient who was charged additional fees to cover PPE costs has launched a petition. Paula Scurfield took the decision after visiting a dentist in York recently.

Mrs Scurfield, from Wigginton, was charged an extra £25 to cover the cost of PPE when she attended an appointment at Clifton Moor Dental Centre. She is now calling for Public Health England to review charges dentists can add to treatment costs and consider setting a cap to ensure that all patients can afford to see a dentist. 

Mrs Scurfield booked an appointment through Denplan. She needed a broken tooth repairing, but was shocked to hear that she would be charged a fee of £25 on top of the treatment cost. She described the surcharge as “excessive” and encouraged people to sign the petition to urge PHE to reconsider the current guidelines related to PPE costs chargeable by private dentists. NHS patients will not have to pay extra.

Samantha Atkins, practice manager at Clifton Moor Dental Centre, explained that the cost of buying PPE has increased dramatically due to soaring global demand for items. Dentists need to wear robust PPE when carrying out certain procedures, and this is why there are additional charges involved. Ms Atkins stressed that the fees are designed to offset rising expenses at a time that is very difficult for patients and practice owners and reassured patients that clinics were not profiting. In fact, the cost of treating patients has increased exponentially due to inflated PPE costs, prolonged closures, restricted patient numbers and the cost of specialist waste disposal following more complex procedures.

Many private practices have already informed patients of rising fees to cover the cost of PPE and more may follow suit in the coming weeks.

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