Accessing dentistry services during COVID 19

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sutton volunteers spoke to 30 dental practices in and around the London Borough of Sutton to identify the practices that were taking on new patients, and to find out the average waiting times for accessing routine and emergency appointments. They found that:

  • only 12 practices (40%) were taking on NHS patients; nearly double (23 practices) were taking children as NHS patients.
  • However, a few practices were taking on children as NHS patients only if their parents and/or siblings were already registered with them.  
  • 21 practices (70%) were providing private care – in fact, 13 of them (43%) were only taking on private patients.
  • Nearly all practices (29) currently treat NHS patients, however, only 12 were taking on NHS patients for emergencies.  
  • The waiting time for urgent care varied from 2 hours to 2 months while that for routine care varied between 1 week and 6 months.

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General details

Report title 
Accessing dentistry services during COVID 19
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sutton
Date of publication 
Friday, 6 August, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 16 June, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 19 July, 2021
Key themes 
Access

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
none
Primary research method used 
Observation
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
30
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.