Dentistry in Tower Hamlets

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Tower Hamlets report on their feedback on dentistry during the period March to December 2020.  During this period they received 62 comments on this subject.

The feedback was largely negative, reflecting the pressure on dentistry services during the pandemic. patients with non-urgent needs struggle to be seen, and there were also some reports of patients struggling to get urgent appointments for acute dental issues. Those in need of routine procedures worried that their issues may become acute if left untreated for too long. Patients reported getting antibiotics or painkillers for their tooth infections, without follow-up dental treatment.

Some patients are not sure whether they can access dental services at all; or feel reluctant to access them because of Covid-19 related worries. Many dentists stopped accepting new NHS patients. This means that unless they pay privately (which many cannot afford), many patients can only access emergency dental treatment via NHS 111 or the Barts Dental Clinic, with no follow-up.

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General details

Report title 
Dentistry in Tower Hamlets
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Cost of services
Information providing
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 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Website Feedback
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? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
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.