Dental Charges and BSL / Spoken Language Interpreter provision, Enfield

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Enfield, in response to questions from members of the public and from advocates, contacted NHS England, to explore why patients were finding it so difficult to access interpreters to assist them at dental appointments. They also wrote to the General Dental Council and NHS England in order to better understand the ways dentists charge for treatment and whether private fees are regulated. They found that the practice is supposed to book and pay for interpreters and then invoice NHS England so that payment is reimbursed via the usual payment system. NHS England also stated that booking an interpreter is the responsibility of the dentist and not NHS England and that this is not a new method or process. Healthwatch Enfield suggest that NHS England should send a formal letter, explaining the payment process, to each dental practice in the Enfield area. The responses from the General Dental Council and NHS England confirm that NHS dentists are not allowed to apply a fee on top of NHS charges for NHS treatment. They can however, offer private treatment in addition to or instead of NHS treatment and this must be properly explained to the patient and consent obtained prior to the provision of treatment. NHS England and the General Dental Council also advised that dentists need to obtain consent for the provision of treatment whether it is NHS or private and cannot change from NHS to private with consulting the patient. It was also confirmed that private dental fees are not regulated.

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General details

Report title 
Dental Charges and BSL / Spoken Language Interpreter provision, Enfield
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Enfield
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Administration
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Cost of services
Health inequalities
Interpreters
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-6800

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Consultation
How was the information collected? 
Correspondence
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 about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Oral and dental health
Types of disabilities 
Hearing
Types of long term conditions 
Deafness or severe hearing impairment
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
2
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
No
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Administrative
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Neutral

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

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.