Dental practices review 2019

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Summary of report content

In February 2019, Healthwatch Newham revisited research undertaken in 2017 to assess the availability of routine NHS dentist appointments, following continued feedback that residents were finding difficult to secure an appointment.   They contacted 29 practices, of which they got

NHS England told Healthwatch Newham that dental practices should display and provide clear guidance on pricing and signpost to other dentists that may be able to provide appointments. While 86% of practices were taking new NHS patients, a significant proportion (45%) of Newham dentists contracted to provide NHS routine appointments had waiting times between 4 weeks to 3 months.

Almost half of practices were not able to provide urgent or emergency treatment. - 45% for practices required an NHS number to register new patients. Only 36% did not require any identification to register.

There seems to be an endemic lack of information among practices in relation to availability of appointments at other practices and treatment alternatives, as none of the practices with 2 or more weeks wait were able to refer a patient elsewhere for urgent care. Only 5 referred to the 111 services.

67% of practices referred to the correct NHS pricing, most of whom referred us to the NHS website for further details, with only two practices saying a higher price and a second requiring patients to register first before confirming the price.

 50% of practices surveyed were accessible for people with physical impairments, while 33% were totally inaccessible, with the remaining providing partial accessibility for patients.

40% of practices did not have oral health promotional materials on display or easily accessible to patients, in one case these were kept in the reception office on top of a cabinet. 20% did not have clear NHS pricing information on display.

There were 3 recommendations, about information to patients about seeking urgent care, costs and prevention and registration processes. 


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General details

Report title 
Dental practices review 2019
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Newham
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 February, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 28 February, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cost of services
Health promotion
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.