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Dental surgery criticised for striking off carer

Horbury and South Ossett councillor Gill Cruise said the decision to strike her off the surgery's register was "harsh".
Horbury and South Ossett councillor Gill Cruise said the decision to strike her off the surgery's register was "harsh".

A ward councillor says she has been struck off by her dentist after she was forced to miss appointments to look after the lady she cares for.

Coun Gill Cruise, who represents the Horbury and South Ossett ward, said that she had been unable to attend three dental appointments in succession because no-one else was able cover for her.

Coun Cruise made the claim at a meeting of Wakefield's health scrutiny committee on Thursday, during a discussion about support given to home carers in the district.

She said: "I'm a carer. I look after someone who has Parkinson's Disease and dementia.

"When you're a carer you have to put the other person's needs before your own.

"I've been struck off by my dentist because I had to cancel three appointments, because each time Joyce was very poorly.

"I tried to explain to them, "I'm a carer, it's not because I don't want to come."

"I just feel that's harsh. It shouldn't happen. It's not fair."

Coun Cruise received sympathy from committee chair Betty Rhodes, who said it "should not be beyond the wit and nous" of organisations to make extra allowances for carers.

Wakefield Council's corporate director for adults, health and communities had earlier said that the local authority needed to do more to support those who looked after relatives or friends.

There are an estimated 66,000 carers in the Wakefield district, a small proportion of whom support someone for more than 50 hours a week.

Andy Balchin said: "We want to do far more work with carers. What they do is not to be under-estimated.

"We're currently putting together proposals to support those most isolated and looking at where we might get funding for that. But we've a long way to go.

"We've a statutory esponsibility to help meet the needs of those carers. We need to do far more though to support carers, particularly those who are facing a crisis."