Key issues with dentistry in North Tyneside

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch North Tyneside reported on key issues with dentistry. Alongside eight other Healthwatch in the North East and North Cumbria, they ran a survey to gather feedback between December 2021 and January 2022.

A total of 235 residents of North Tyneside responded to the survey. Healthwatch North Tyneside also contacted all dental practices in the area and asked a standard set of questions. 15 of the 25 practices responded.

Key findings

• Finding a dentist has been very difficult. Information on the NHS website about dentists taking on NHS patients has not been kept up to date.

• Urgent treatment was prioritised during the pandemic but getting any kind of appointment was a struggle for some.

• There is a need for a clear definition of ‘urgent’. Our data suggests a significant mismatch between the clinical definition and users’ interpretation.

• Generally speaking, people want to be seen within a month for routine treatment or check-ups and within a week or less for urgent issues.

• The cost of both NHS and private care presents a barrier to equal access.

• There is a lack of understanding about the organisation and funding of NHS contracts and the implications for provision of NHS appointments. This has given the impression that private care has been prioritised for the financial gain of dentists.

A number of recommendations were made in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Key issues with dentistry in North Tyneside
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Tyneside
Date of publication 
Friday, 25 March, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 December, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 January, 2022
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cost of services
Health inequalities
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Eight other local Healthwatch in the North East and North Cumbria
Primary research method used 

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 
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
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? 

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.