Dad forced to take son on 150-mile round trip to go to dentist
A father must make a 150-mile round trip if he wants to take his son to an NHS dentist after being told to wait a year at their local centre.
Michael McGee, 46, moved from London to Gosport, near Portsmouth, with partner Edyta Rohoza, 41, after their son Patryk, four, was born.
But when they attempted to book Patryk in for a basic check-up at the dentist, the couple were baffled to be told the waiting list for their local NHS clinic would take up to a year to clear.
Michael called more than 20 NHS surgeries in the area with no luck and now the family face a three-hour drive back to London to get Patryk free treatment.
The backlog stems from the closure of three NHS dentists in the area when Swiss-owned chain Colosseum Dental ended its contract with the NHS.
It meant some 20,000 people were left without anywhere to get their teeth checked.
Michael, a scaffolding manager, said: When Patryk started nursery we wanted him to have a check-up, and because of his age he would get free NHS treatment.
But every dentist we called said they had no space and said we would be looking at a waiting list of six months to a year.
The volume of people coming into our local area means the clinics cant fit everyone in.
Nobody is moving out of the area because its a nice area, and we felt hopeless trying to find Patryk a dentist.
Its ridiculous though – why should I have to take my son all the way to London just for a routine check-up?