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NHS dental care 'too hard to find'

Patients are struggling to find NHS dental care, according to a consumer watchdog.

Healthwatch England said "confusing and inaccurate" information about where to access free care means some are travelling up to 40 miles to find a NHS provider, while others become so frustrated by their search for a health service dentist that they end up paying for private treatment.

The watchdog also warned that some patients are being "deregistered" from NHS dentists for missing appointments, even if they have a valid reason.

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Pervasive 'myth' that you can have only one dentist

There is a "myth" that you need to be registered with a dentist "in the same way that you are registered with a GP," the head of a consumer watchdog told Good Morning Britain, "but you don't."

This pervasive myth has allowed some dental practices to "deregister" patients, Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, said, something that cannot technically happen.

Of the examples of people being "struck off" from their dental practice for missing a single appointment that the watchdog have found, in one case someone was deregistered for taking a relative for cancer care.

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