Dental queries recieved by Healthwatch Cheshire during the COVID 19 pandemic

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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They found that details of dental practices on the NHS Services website are often out of date, meaning that people needing treatment are forced to phone around individual practices to enquire about registering.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

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General details

Report title 
Dental queries recieved by Healthwatch Cheshire during the COVID 19 pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Friday, 16 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 8 June, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cost of services
Information providing
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
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)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.