99-year-old’s teeth checked in street

A dentist has called for planning officers to live ‘in the real world’ after a 99-year-old woman was forced to have her teeth checked in the street.

Mary Hedges was unable to get into her dental practice because a disabled ramp or a handrail cannot be installed to help people up the three steps outside the Grade II-listed building. Instead, her dentist checked her teeth on the pavement outside the practice in Daventry, Northamptonshire.

Dr Resh Diu, clinical director and owner of Daventry Dental Practice, said conservation officers should ‘live a little more in the real world’. Dr Diu said the surgery moved to the building in March because it could accommodate the growing practice. The entrance had three steps off the road but Dr Diu thought this could be addressed with a handrail. He said the practice had been advised it could not place anything on the front of the building that would change the appearance due to its listed status. Dr Diu said the practice looked into putting in a ramp for the front steps as well as a stairlift, but neither was allowed. He added: ‘We have two ground-floor surgeries in place so that patients who struggle with stairs can be seen in. Unfortunately, patients still do need to get up the front three steps. The lady who had a simple examination outside was elderly and very upset so, though far from ideal, my team elected to accommodate her request.’

Daventry District Council chiefs responded to the news by saying that the practice owners were advised about the condition of the building and limitations before it was bought.

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