"Lack of choice for Emergency Dental Care"

About: NHS Forth Valley

(as the patient),

For most of my adult life I have been petrified from the dentist. I get anxious even at the thought and almost always end up in tears. After enduring toothache for 4 days I plucked up the courage to call the emergency dental helpline, a huge achievement in itself! I was given a number to call in my local area of Falkirk so called that and was given another number of a dental practice who provided the emergency dental care for my area.

So I called the number was put through to. I advised the receptionist I had got their number from emergency dental care and asked if it was possible to see a dentist. Her reply and way she spoke to me totally shocked me and by this point I was already shaking with fear. She asked how long it was since I'd been to a dentist and told me I could come at two oclock that day. However she warned me that I had to be prepared to wait a while because their registered patients took priority over me. She then went on to tell me how she was told she had to give me an app within 24 hours and that's what she was doing but it did not feel like I was a priority to them. I couldn't go, I was too scared already without having to deal with her.

Later that night the pain got so bad I called NHS 24 and spoke to a lovely dental nurse who advised me on self help and that there was no out of hours dentist on duty but id get a call in the morning with an app to see a dentist.

Morning came and the call came from the same dental practice I had called the day before. I couldn't bring myself to go after the way they had spoken to me the day before. So basically if you need emergency dental care in the Falkirk area you will be sent to one practice with no alternative.

I have to say I have never been spoken to they way the receptionist at that practice spoke to me. It's unfortunate that she did not understand what a huge ordeal it was for me. To her I was merely an inconvenience. I have since been back to the practice I had been registered with in the past and have been treated like a human being. I hope no-one else has to experience the treatment I received from the other practice.

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Response from Arlian Mallis, Person Centred Health and Care Co-ordinator, Department of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley

Many thanks for your story, I have sent it on to our dental services and asked them to get back to me or to reply to you directly. We will respond to your posting as soon as possible.

many thanks


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