Online Focus Group Access to Dental Services

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Summary of report content

In November 2020, Healthwatch Liverpool facilitated a small online focus group about Access to Dental Care with 7 people and collected feedback from Aril 2020 with 217 people. 

The report found that the number of enquiries about dental care has steadily increased since the pandemic, especially in relation to the difficulties accessing NHS dental care. Many people had experienced cancellations and delays to treatment due to the pandemic. When trying to access emergency dental care, some people experienced long waits on the phone. People also encountered refusals to register for NHS dentistry as they were not accepting new patients. The CCG also received enquiries from people outside of Liverpool, who were trying to find appointments here.

The focus group found that the cost of dental appointments was a barrier, with many unaware of the NHS low income scheme and HC1 form. Some patients are more reluctant to go to the dentist due to safety concerns and not knowing what to expect during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most focus group participants had received information from their dental practice about what to expect when attending an appointment.

No recommendations were made in this report.


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General details

Report title 
Online Focus Group Access to Dental Services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Liverpool
Date of publication 
Thursday, 18 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 April, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 26 November, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
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 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

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 
Not known
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? 
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.