A YORK dental patient has started a petition after being charged £25 for PPE when she went to her dentist.

Paula Scurfield is calling for Public Health England (PHE) to review the amount dentists are allowed to charge each patient to cover PPE costs, following her experiences at Clifton Moor Dental Centre.

Mrs Scurfield, of Wigginton, whose petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/public-health-england-dentist-ppe-surcharge, said she wanted PHE to provide a cap to ensure dental treatment was accessible to all.

She said she had faced the fee after booking as a Denplan patient for treatment to a broken tooth.

“I would like a review of the charges that dentists are allowed to charge each patient to cover PPE, with a cap being implemented,” she said.

She said she believed £25 was ‘excessive’ and feared those without the means to fund extra fees would suffer, with dental services out of their reach.

Practice manager Samantha Atkins said dentists needed to wear higher level filtration masks, due to the small size of the virus particles, which were extremely expensive.

She said these had to be taken away by a clinical waste company and incinerated, which was yet another cost, and there was now a significant wait following procedures before the surgery could be used again, which was another added cost.

“We in no way want to profit from this terrible situation but we must be able to meet the costs of providing care for patients and protection for both staff and patients,” she said.

“We realise this £25 charge seems expensive but need to keep everyone safe.”

She added that the fee was a one-off charge and not per visit, and was not applicable for non paying children below 16 or people with benefits, and was only for private patients and not those treated on the NHS.

“If patients need more than one visit for treatment then the practice is absorbing those costs for further usage and disposal of PPE.” She said the charges were explained to all patients before their appointment.