Saturday, February 07, 2009

British man pulls out 13 of his own teeth with pliers 'because he couldn't find an NHS dentist'

A former soldier pulled his own teeth out with a pair of pliers because he could not find a dentist to take on NHS patients. Iraq War veteran Ian Boynton could not afford to go private for treatment so instead took the drastic action to remove 13 of his teeth that were giving him severe pain. The 42-year-old, from Beverley, East Yorkshire, had not had his teeth looked at since seeing the army dentist in 2003. He had not been registered with a dentist of his own since 2001.

He said: 'I've tried to get in at 30 dentists over the last eight years but have never been able to find one to take on NHS patients.' But when Mr Boynton started suffering from toothache in 2006 he decided to take drastic action. He said: 'I started having pain in a front tooth, which protruded slightly more than the others. I was constantly fiddling with it and wiggling it because it hurt so much. 'In the end I knew it had to come out and had to use the pliers to pull it. Amazingly, it did not hurt as much as you might think. 'I think I'd been prising it that much in the meantime that I'd been killing the nerve.'

In the last two years Mr Boynton has pulled out 13 top teeth including molars, incisors and canines. He now only has two teeth left in the roof of his mouth. He served as a medic in Iraq in 2003, but six months after leaving the Territorial Army had an accident while working as a paint sprayer that aggravated an old back injury.

Unemployed Mr Boynton, who is single, said: 'It's a horrible situation to be in when you can't afford to go to the dentist when your teeth were so bad.' In a stroke of ill-timed luck he has now finally found a dentist to take him on. Mr Boynton said: 'I think the situation has improved slightly because of all the uproar. Unfortunately it came too late for me. 'I desperately needed a dentist because, although I'm no longer in pain, I need to have false teeth as I'm finding it difficult to eat. 'Unfortunately I can't make false teeth myself.'


Australia: Bundaberg Hospital inquiry 'ignored' central witness

In my post yesterday I ridiculed on principle the internal "Inquiry" that had dismissed the complaints about Bundaberg hospital. We see now below that I was exactly right to do that

QUEENSLAND Health dismissed serious allegations of assault and negligence at Bundaberg Hospital without speaking to the key witness, it is alleged. In The Courier-Mail yesterday, Health Minister Stephen Robertson said allegations a baby had been assaulted and an elderly man left to die on a trolley in a hallway had been investigated by the Queensland Health Ethical Standards Unit and "found not to have been sustained".

However, the nurse at the centre of the controversy claims she has not been contacted by the unit. "No one from the ethical standards unit has ever contacted me - not ever. Not by phone or letter or in person," she said. "And never once did a manager at Bundaberg come back to me and say, 'Let's look at your evidence'." The highly qualified nurse has made a series of startling allegations against the hospital, including the falsifying of records, understaffing, bullying, and gross medical neglect.

Following pressure from Rob Messenger (LNP, Burnett), Mr Robertson confirmed he had referred the case to the Health Quality and Complaints Commission. He also said 3000 complaints logged at the hospital in the past three years would be reviewed by Queensland Health's patient safety centre. As well, Dr Stephen Ayre, executive medical director of Prince Charles Hospital, will investigate the 100 complaints by the whistleblower.

Mr Robertson said claims of falsified triage times would be investigated after the Crime and Misconduct Commission and the Queensland Health Ethical Standards Unit, and investigations into emergency department and triage times would be completed by February 23, with the report to be released publicly. Mr Robertson rejected the hospital was understaffed and said 33 extra doctors, 114 extra nurses and 127 extra allied health professions had been appointed since 2005.

The controversy took another strange twist yesterday when the Director-General of Health, Mick Reid, was reported to his own ethical unit for allegedly using explicit language. Mr Messenger, the MLA who raised the allegations, claimed Mr Reid used the unsavoury language during a meeting in Bundaberg with the whistleblower. Mr Messenger said in a reply to a comment about the whistleblower's career prospects, the Director-General said "If you want to say to me f*** off I'm going to go and do something else, that's great". Mr Reid apologised last night for his choice of language. "I'm not aware that the nurse or her partner were offended by the language I used, but I reiterate that I am sorry for any offence I may have inadvertently caused," Mr Reid said.


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