NHS Dental access report

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Summary of report content

This report summarises the feedback HW Tameside have received since the beginning of lockdown in March 2020 up to March 2021.

In total, 108 people spoke to HW Tameside about dentistry in this period.

Key issues include:

  • Cancellation of appointments
  • Being unable to access an NHS dentist during the pandemic
  • Backlogs of patients as dentists re-open

There were positive experiences reported as well.

Actions from HW Tameside:

  • Healthwatch Tameside raised concerns at the August meeting of the Quality Performance and Assurance Group (QPAG). The Director of Quality and Safeguarding said they would raise the matter at Greater Manchester meetings.
  • Healthwatch Tameside highlighted and updated on the issues at the September and October meetings of the Primary Care Delivery and Improvement Group (PCDIG). The Head of Primary Care said they would raise at Greater Manchester meetings.
  • Healthwatch Tameside has repeatedly called dentists to obtain up-to-date information for people in the local area about which dentists are open and accepting patients.
  • Since September, HW Tameside have sent emails to NHS England have requested information about what is happening with NHS dental care, due to our concerns.
  • Healthwatch England are collating data at a national level, as this is a national issue. Healthwatch Tameside have provided any information requested, to add to this overall picture.

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General details

Report title 
NHS Dental access report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tameside
Date of publication 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 8 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

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? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
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.