Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

Memorandum by Dr Jillian Pritchard (DS 02)

  I am a consultant in GU/HIV Medicine working at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey.

  Provision of dental care for HIV positive patients is a very difficult matter. A few years ago we had a community dentist who was able to provide a good free service for these patients. Many have poor dental health and require extensive work. It is self evident that poor oral health has a significant deleterious effect on their general health. Referral of this sort also had a greatly beneficial effect of allowing patients to declare HIV status without any fear of disclosure. Dentists, especially private dentists, anecdotally are not great fans of HIV positive patients. At present I have a number of patients who cannot afford private dentistry because they do not work and others who would not attend a private dentist for fear of the consequences of disclosing HIV status.

  We need a good provision of NHS dentists and especially dentists who work in the trust setting where they can readily treat patients who for reasons of HIV or other stigmatising condition do not currently fit into the system.

Dr Jillian Pritchard

15 October 2007

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