HOW dare they! I have just watched Monday’s Covid briefing, when they specifically said that NHS treatment in hospitals is still available, and people shouldn’t be afraid to report problems or ask for help. Rubbish!

My husband chipped a tooth, exposing a nerve, which became infected. He looked like a lopsided chipmunk, and was in quite a lot of pain.

As it was a Sunday I contacted NHS 111, explained the situation and asked if I could be directed to somewhere I could get antibiotics so that he could start treating the infection and reduce the pain.

Their advice was that he should apply a cold compress, sleep sitting up, and see if his dentist would see him on Monday.

When my husband phoned his wonderful dentist he was told to go straight round, and was given a prescription for antibiotics.

Such was the level of infection that he was unable to do a full examination and he made an appointment for two weeks later, when he felt the infection would be clear and the swelling would have gone down sufficiently for a full exam.

His verdict was the tooth needed to be pulled, however, due to my husband’s ongoing health problems, he needed a medical team to be present, so he referred him to the hospital.

Can you imagine our disbelief when the hospital sent a letter saying the problem was not sufficiently urgent or serious, so they would not treat him.

We now have a large stock of painkillers, and a hotline to his dentist so when the infection starts to recur (which it does) he can get antibiotics to treat it as soon as possible. How we can solve this I just don’t know.

As a bit of a coincidence, last week I was told by my optician I needed cataracts to be removed, the left eye being the worst.

You’ve probably already realised that he’s referred me to the hospital. I try not to be too cynical, but I’m waiting for a white stick to arrive in the post!

And if anyone thinks I’m being selfish and should bide my time until the hospital has got control of Covid (which obviously is the most important thing of all) – well I didn’t say treatment is still available in hospitals.

G Nixon, Darlington.