Covid test confusion causes further wait for Bonnie's dental treatment

Bonnie Large who has Angelman Syndrome, and is struggling with pain, possibly from her teeth, pictur

Bonnie Large's treatment was cancelled the night before after confusion over Covid testing. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Confusion over Covid testing has dealt an eleventh-hour blow to the family of a disabled woman needing urgent dental treatment. 

Bonnie Large, from Norwich, has Angelman Syndrome which means she cannot communicate her pain.

Her parents Paul and Andrea, of Ruskin Road, raised the issue of access for disabled patients with the 24-year-old experiencing pain for three months. 

The family was delighted she would be treated under anaesthetic at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on August 17, but this was cancelled the night before as the treatment would take place in a Covid-secure unit.

An NNUH spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to Bonnie and her family for the postponement of her treatment. We will work with community dental services and the family to find a solution to help get Bonnie her treatment as quickly as possible.”

Under Covid measures, patients must test negative prior to treatment, but the family raised this may be difficult due to Miss Large's disability. 

The family arrived for testing on Saturday and when Bonnie resisted, Mr Large said they were led to believe if the couple tested negative the treatment could go ahead. 

He said: "We were devastated. We spent all day yesterday going out of our minds worrying about what was going to happen, but we knew it would be the best solution to get on and get the treatment. 

"Look at Norwich over the weekend, there were thousands of extra people, no masks, no social distancing, and they won't let my daughter in hospital to have dental work done. There is no balance. It must have been a very small risk for her to have Covid."

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Mr Large said it could be a further two to four weeks before his daughter received treatment. 

The 56-year-old said: "We knew in the first place it would be impossible to get a test for Bonnie.

"We think we're getting somewhere, it's like climbing a hill and somehow you end up back at the bottom.

"The way it is set up for anybody able-bodied. There is nothing ever in place for people like Bonnie." 

A Siskin Dental Centre spokesman added the "top priority" was to ensure a successful treatment outcome as quickly as possible.