Dental Services in Thurrock 2019

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Summary of report content

From the conversation and anecdotal discussion received via engagement with Thurrock residents, Healthwatch Thurrock were prompted to look closer at dental services for both Children and Adults living in Thurrock. Through Healthwatch Thurrock’s adult focus on oral health, face to face and surveys heard the voices of 669 people including a residential home and its staff with 221 formal surveys being completed. Questions were based on NICE guidance and surveys were supported by scribing and informal interviews to ensure a robust data set was achieved and an inclusive approach was practiced. There was also a survey targeted at children. Highlighted in the data Healthwatch Thurrock collected through Children’s Centres were the misunderstanding of when children should be taken to the dentist for the first time as well as when to start good oral hygiene routines. More than 1 in 10 children in Thurrock that Healthwatch Thurrock surveyed had not had an initial visit to a dentist at the age of 2. Nearly 4 in 5 adults surveyed were registered with an NHS Dentist. Fourteen percent said they didn’t need a dentist as they weren’t experiencing problems or they had dentures. Only 2 people couldn’t get NHS dentistry in Thurrock and had to go outside the area to get NHS dental care. Just under 3 in 5 adults had visited a dentist in the last year. The main reasons for not having regular check-ups including not experiencing problems, anxiety about dental treatment and worry about the cost of treatment. Over a third of people surveyed were happy with their NHS dentist and only 2% were unhappy. A separate survey was carried out within a care home within Thurrock. The focus was around how residents are supported with their oral hygiene routine, choice and denture care. All staff reported that cleaning products were supplied by family members so residents had choice in what was used. All staff confirmed that assistance is given to clean natural teeth and dentures if required and that all residents had a care plan and oral health routines are recorded. All staff confirmed that dentures are not marked as a way of identifying who they belonged to and they had not received any training on oral health care for residents. Recommendations: All staff in Children’s Centres maintain up to date training including the promotion of healthy lifestyles and oral hygiene routines to inform and advise parents / carers Dentists to have information on treating patients with COPD More information given to denture wearers with regard to dental visits and the importance of continued oral monitoring All care home staff to receive basic oral health care training and to understand the importance of denture marking and how to arrange this for residents, with their permission Additional information should be available for public / carers in environments such as Children’s Centres and dentist practices

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General details

Report title 
Dental Services in Thurrock 2019
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Thurrock
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 August, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 May, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 May, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cost of services
Health promotion
Quality of 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

Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Oral and dental health
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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 
Care / support workers
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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.