The public spending watchdog is to investigate whether hundreds of thousands of people going to the dentist have been unfairly fined.
The National Audit Office is holding an inquiry into NHS penalty charges in England – applied to people alleged to be wrongly claiming free treatment.
The BBC had revealed many vulnerable people were being fined £100.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has warned that this is scaring poor families from going to the dentist.
The dentists’ organisation says almost 430,000 penalty fines were issued last year – which they say is often “simply for ticking the wrong box on claim forms”.
Many of the people facing fines, the dentists say, are “on very low incomes, the elderly, and those with learning difficulties”.
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