People share their views on dentistry services in Central Bedfordshire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire undertook a survey of access to and experience of NHS dental care both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.  They received 116 responses during the period 18 January to 14 February 2021.

Before the pandemic, people were largely satisfied with their care.  During the pandemic, this changed with more people being unable to access NHS routine and emergency care.  Few people were able to use NHS 111 successfully to access dental care.

People reported a lack of communication from dental surgeries as to when routine appointments would resume, and that the surgeries failed to contact people to arrange an appointment when promised.

Recommendations include the need for clearer information, appointments provided on a timely and regular basis and keeping dental surgeries websites up to date.

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General details

Report title 
People share their views on dentistry services in Central Bedfordshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 20 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 18 January, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 14 February, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
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 
Not known
Not 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? 
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? 
Not known

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.