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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Millom social services call over missed dental check-up

A MILLOM mum says her parenting has been brought into question by social services – after her son missed a single dental appointment.

Janet Gardner, of Queen’s Park, had a home visit by a social worker after concerns were raised about her son Leon’s dental health.

Leon was due to have a dentist appointment at Millom’s Horn Hill Dental Practice a few months ago, but a family emergency focused Ms Gardner’s mind away from the appointment and the nine-year-old missed his check-up.

Mum-of-four Ms Gardner said all of her children needed teeth removing when they were younger.

Leon is awaiting an operation to have several teeth removed at Furness General Hospital, after being referred at a recently re-arranged appointment.

But last week Ms Gardner received a phone call, informing her she would be getting a house call from social services because Leon had missed a dentist appointment.

She said: “When the social worker came he looked through the house and in my son’s bedroom. It was awful.

“To me they were undermining how I bring my son up – because we missed a dental appointment. I can’t get my head around it.”

The family were involved with social services about nearly 10 years ago but since then there had been no issues, Ms Gardner said.

She said: “When the person on the phone said it was children’s services my heart dropped. But then when they said it was about the dentist I couldn’t believe it.”

In response, Cumbria County Council said it had a duty of care to respond to concerns raised.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We can’t comment on individual cases, however part of our role is to contact children and families if any concerns are raised. If anybody has any issues then we would encourage them to follow the county council’s complaints procedure or arrange to speak with the relevant social worker’s manager.”

The Evening Mail contacted Horn Hill Dental Practice but received no response.

Have your say

My daughter has a child who has learning and medical issues.

She was leaving for her dental appt when her son had an issue with his bowels requiring a complete shower and change.

She phoned the dentist to say she would be late and explained why. 10mins after the appt time she arrived at the surgery only to be told by the receptionist that as she had missed the appt she would be taken off the dental register.

My daughter tried to explain that the delay was unavoidable and if they wanted confirmation on her son's medical needs she would provide a doctors letter, The Practice manager appeared and confirmed that my daughter would be taken off the register as she missed her appt and that is the practice policy.

When asked if she could speak and explain to her dentist (who she had received excellent treatment from) the manager declined any contact. So my daughter has been without a dentist because a child had an accident.

What is it with the dental practices in Barrow !!

Posted by M Hawkins on 19 December 2012 at 17:14

I do understand that social services should step in at times of any child neglect or harm but in this case i think its terrible,,, especially when there was only one appointment missed and there were no real concerns with the childs teeth. He's mam has been put through a lot of worry and had her parenting skills questioned, i think if the dentist in question had contacted the mother and had a chat council resorses and money would have been saved.

Posted by Deborah Pay on 18 December 2012 at 21:21

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