Summary of report content
Since the start of the pandemic, Healthwatch Kent have received 130 pieces of feedback about accessing dental care. Much of this feedback reported challenges people have faced seeking emergency and routine dental care, but there were positive stories as well.
- People talked to HW Kent about how hard they found it to get an NHS dentist, both before and after the government announced there-opening of dental practices from 8 June 2020.
- HW Kent heard from people struggling to get appointments with their dentist and long waiting times
- Callers raised concerns about the quality of the service received
- HW Kent heard about the absence of PPE within NHS dental practices
- People shared their concerns about the cost of going to a private dentist because they couldn’t get NHS treatment
- The confusion that people experienced about how to get a dentist appointment was clear
HW Kent contacted the Kent Dental Helpline to check what advice they would give to people. They told them that most dentists were not taking new patients because of the backlog of current patients. They also said that people could contact the Dental Helpline to get a list of which dentists were accepting NHS patients. However, the feedback HW Kent received suggests that these lists are not up-to-date.