Dental services during Covid-19: Difficulties and delays in accessing dental care in Gloucestershire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gloucestershire has recently seen a spike in enquiries about accessing urgent NHS dental care between July and September 2020. This report presents our findings on the provision of urgent dental treatments in Gloucestershire, for registered and unregistered people, and the experiences of those trying to register with an NHS dentist.

Healthwatch Gloucestershire found that people were finding it difficult to access urgent dental treatment. Often, communication between patient and practice was lacking. The majority of waiting lists were not open and some practice could not give information about when they were to resume.

Recommendations included that clear information about provision should be given to patients. The public needs to be given clear reasons why access to NHS dentists is limited in this way.

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General details

Report title 
Dental services during Covid-19: Difficulties and delays in accessing dental care in Gloucestershire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 23 September, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 15 September, 2020
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7812

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Observation
How was the information collected? 
Telephone
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 of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Unknown
Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
All
Specific ethnicity if known 
All
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Negative

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.