Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wakefield Prison inmates claim dentistry compensation

Prisoners at the UK's largest maximum security jail have been given thousands of pounds in compensation over claims of poor dental care.

The 24 inmates at Wakefield Prison settled out of court with the NHS and were given a total of £47,000.

They were also awarded more than £300,000 in legal fees.

Wakefield District NHS Primary Care Trust said they inherited long waiting lists after taking over responsibility for prison treatment in 2005.

Gill Galdins, the trust's chief operating officer, added: "A national report has shown that the prison population's dental health is generally poorer and more complex, and in addition there has been difficulty recruiting to vacant posts.

"Improvements have been made to provide a comprehensive, specialist dental service including emergency treatment. We are working hard to ensure the local prison population receive the same access to dental care, as residents across the country, only within a secure setting.

"The figures paid to claimants were all relatively low. When this happens it's often the case that the claimants' solicitor's costs are disproportionate. A number of cases were successfully rejected.

"There was no legal ruling, that we were aware of, that set any precedent for prisoners suing for dental problems. Where a patient experiences a breach of duty of care and injury follows they are entitled to compensation."

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