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HSE rails against health and safety claim in Telegraph’s dentist story

Date:
31 July 2015

Editor,  

It is totally misleading to cite health and safety regulations as a reason for a dentist refusing to treat overweight patients (dentist tells the obese they are not welcome, p10, July 31).  

This is simply a case of some patients being beyond the weight limit of the dentists’ chairs.  It’s like complaining that you can’t get six people into a four seater car – it’s just beyond the design criteria.  Dentists are understandably concerned about the prospect of litigation should a chair fail when it is being loaded beyond the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Established arrangements exist for Special Care Dentistry services to treat people who aren’t able to make use of their local dental services for a range of different reasons, and this dentist’s letter was seemingly referring to these.

 Yours faithfully 

Geoff Cox

Head of Public Services Sector

Health and Safety Executive