Dental services in Havering

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Havering undertook a survey of local dental practices in October 2020 as a result of a growing number of enquiries from people who had been unable to obtain NHS treatment for non-routine dental conditions.  They spoke to 27 out of 45 practices in the borough. 

Only four said that they were accepting new NHS patients at the time. The remainder did not respond to that question or said that they would not be accepting new NHS patients at all.

The main reason cited for dentists’ reluctance to accept NHS patients is that they find the terms of the NHS dentistry contract too onerous to make it worth their while acceding to it.

All practices said that their staff wore Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and required patients to wear masks when not undergoing treatment; nearly all said that the room was cleaned thoroughly between patients. About a quarter of practices made a charge to patients for the use of PPE.

The waiting time for an appointment for routine treatment varied greatly across the practices surveyed. Responses varied from one week to two months. For at least one practice, no routine appointments were available.

Most practices were fitting emergency patients into the nearest available appointment slot or prioritising according to need. Just under a third said that they would refer emergency patients to another practice.

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General details

Report title 
Dental services in Havering
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Havering
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 October, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 October, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Waiting times and lists for treatment
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)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
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? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people'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

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.