Enter and view: Finding an NHS dentist in Peterborough and Wisbech

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough conducted two Enter and View visits at Dental Access Centres run by Dental Healthcare. As there is a lack of urgent dental appointments in Peterborough and Wisbech, people are attempting to go to Dental Access Centres for treatment. Patients reported that they self-referred to the Dental Access Centres and many were turned away from emergency appointments. There was mixed feedback about the phone systems used to book appointments also. Staff reported that patients who were children often had poor oral health when they came to the Dental Access Centres. Staff told the representatives that patients are turned away as demand is higher than commissioned activity. Attendees of these Dental Access Centres experienced problems getting routine or emergency dental appointments. It was also reported that transport links to the Dental Access Centres were not good unless you had a car. It was clear that children were having an increasing amount of multiple tooth extractions. There was also not enough language assistance for non-English speaking communities. Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough recommended that NHS England should continue to work with partners and gather public views in regard of the proposed changes to both urgent and routine dental care; review the need for dental services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and commission activity in line with demand; ensure that information about dentists on the NHS Choices website is up to date and accurate; and direct dentists to take steps to increase dental care for children. It was recommended that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Public Health Team and Public Health England should commission an oral health campaign across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough targeting children and families. It was also recommended that Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust review accessibility of information in both Dental Access Centres to ensure this complies with the NHS England Accessible Information Standard. and review availability of interpreting and translation services and maximise use of NHS England’s newly commissioned service.

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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Finding an NHS dentist in Peterborough and Wisbech
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Healthwatch Peterborough
Date of publication 
Monday, 7 January, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 24 September, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 2 November, 2018
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Continuity of care
Staff levels
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
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 
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
Not Known

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 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
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? 

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.