Dental queries recieved by Healthwatch Cheshire during the COVID 19 pandemicDownload (PDF 316KB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Cheshire East and Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester report on the feedback they have received from the public since June 2020 about access to NHS dentistry.
They found that details of dental practices on the NHS Services website are often out of date, meaning that people needing treatment are forced to phone around individual practices to enquire about registering. People are also being directed to Healthwatch by the NHS Services website which says that local Healthwatch may be able to provide information about dentists taking on NHS patients.
They also heard that people who had had emergency dental treatment only had their problem patched up rather than treated unless they could afford to pay for private treatment.
Some people register with dentists in other counties, some are offered appointments in 5 or so months’ time, some are told there is no waiting list and to keep calling back.
They heard that the Cheshire & Merseyside Emergency Dental Helpline which deals with emergency dental enquiries for people who are not currently registered with a dentist in the area couldn’t always help people.
There appears to be confusion around people being registered with dentists. Some enquiries come from people new to the area or studying locally. Others are from people who have been unable to get an appointment with their dentist’ due to lack of recent attendance. Further and better communication is needed around this process to the public