Summary of report content
Healthwatch Redbridge contacted all local dentist practices offering NHS services as part of their contract. They spoke to 32 practices in total.
They were able to get through to most practices in under a minute. NHS dental appointments were being offered for adults at 84% of practices. Children can access NHS appointments at all but one of the practices contacted.
Of the 27 practices that are currently offering NHS appointments to adults, 24 (89%) are seeing patients for both emergency and routine appointments, two are just seeing emergencies and one is seeing routine appointments.
More than a third didn’t have any specific criteria for accepting patients. Seven would only accept patients if they were in pain and six said that they were only seeing patients already on their list.
Only a handful of practices (three for adults and four for children) are operating waiting lists. They have an average waiting time of three months.
Nearly all saw a combination of NHS and private appointments. Over three in five said they would offer patients a private appointment if they couldn’t offer an NHS one.
Two thirds of practices would advise patients to ring NHS 111 if they cannot offer them an appointment.