For service families, finding medical and dental facilities can often prove very difficult. Those families who find themselves on training units, at units where there is spare medical capacity or overseas then families may register at the Station Medical Centre. There is however no provision for dental care for families, with the exception of an overseas posting or in the UK for an acute dental emergency where there is no immediate access to NHS facilities.
This haphazard situation leaves most families having to find new medical and dental provision every time they move. Add to this the scarcity of NHS dentists and the different rules applied by different primary care trusts with regard to hospital waiting list and it can become a real problem.
When you move to a new unit it is worth asking, in the first instance, whether or not your family can register at the Station medical centre. If the answer is no, the NHS website www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk is a good place to start for both medical and dental provision. It carries a wide spectrum of general information and also has a useful search facility for finding health services, GP surgeries, NHS dentists, pharmacies and opticians in the local area by postcode.
Access to medical and dental facilities for RAF families is not always as easy as it should be. If you have problems accessing dental or medical provision, please let us know so that we can build a case based on evidence.