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.