Man, 64, who couldn't get NHS dental appointment diagnosed with cancer

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2023-05-30 20:32:53  • 3 mins

A 64-year-old man who couldn't get an NHS dental appointment was diagnosed with cancer after he was forced to pay 50 to go private.

Ray, a retired NHS worker, began suffering from a sore and swollen jaw last winter which he put down to recently having a tooth removed.

He contacted his dentist when the pain persisted but was told that there were already 800 people on the waiting list. However, he could get an appointment within a week if he paid to go private, the practice said.

After forking out the cash for the consultation, a tumour was spotted in an X-ray and Ray, from 'dental desert' Durham, was fast-tracked to hospital.

Ray said that if he had not paid to go private, he may not have been alive today.

Following a tooth removal last year, swelling that Ray had assumed was from the operation persisted and by Christmas he was struggling to eat some foods.

After struggling to get an NHS dental appointment, Ray told The Northern Echo: 'We're lucky that we could afford to pay.

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