Summary of report content
Healthwatch Darlington wanted to understand the experiences of their community with dental care services during the period from the first lockdown due to COVID-19, in March 2020, to date. 48 people responded to a survey and they spoke to dental practices locally to understand the availability of services.
Ten people were looking for a dentist and found it difficult to find one. People had to wait between 3 weeks and a year for a routine check up. Fifteen percent found it difficult or very difficult to book an emergency appointment.
Nine out of ten dental practices said they were taking on new NHS patients, however some reported waiting lists, one as long as 500 people. All said that NHS waiting times for routine dental treatment was no longer than six months, which was in line with their waiting times for Private patients.