Summary of report content
Healthwatch Luton decided to prioritise engagement on dentistry, as they had discovered that confusion about the cost of dentistry prevented some people from seeking dental treatment, and prevented them from taking their children to the dentist. They agreed to work with Public Health England who would use the findings from their Enter and View visits.
This was an announced Enter and View visit to Sharing Smiles Orthodontics, an orthodontic clinic. Healthwatch Luton spoke to 8 patients (between the ages of 11-15 and their parents) and 4 members of staff, including two receptionists, the practice manager and a dentist.
Everyone attending Sharing Smiles is referred from their local dentist, as it is a specialised orthodontics for children service. As children under 18 don’t have to pay for dental care in the UK they could not ask the patients any questions regarding costs. Overall, everyone they spoke with on the day, including staff and patients thought the service was run very well. Clear information was provided regarding costs and structure of costs, as well as how to make a complaint. It was noted that most of the patients did not have English as their first language, and many translated information to their parents. Sharing Smiles takes between 30-40 referrals a week, and for the week before our Enter and View they had on average 16 DNA’s (did not attend).
There were two recommendations about promoting translation services and improving information about complaints.
The report includes a response from the provider.