Here’s what happened when we tried to book an appointment with the NHS dentist in Coventry

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Getting a dentist appointment has been tricky lately due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Recent reports have revealed people have been waiting months or even years in the West Midlands for dental appointments on the NHS.

CoventryLive therefore embarked on an experiment to see how long it would take to book an appointment with the NHS dentist in the city.

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For the purpose of said experiment, we found all surgeries that were taking on new NHS patients not yet registered or referred.

We then called them and asked them as soon as possible to book us an appointment.

One surgery did not respond and another said it was no longer taking NHS patients, despite what the NHS had said. They said they stopped in August and have been asking for the website to be changed ever since.

The rest gave me an idea of ​​when I could come for a date, with widely varying degrees of expectation.

After performing the experiment, here is what we found…

Soft Dental, Bell Green

This reassuringly titled surgery offered me an appointment next week – Tuesday to be exact. This was the first call made and how quickly the call was answered and the offer of a date next week surprised me, “what a crisis?” I thought, maybe a little naively.

Longfellow Road Partnership

A lovely receptionist from Longfellow Road Partnership said I could be seen in early March, so a little longer than the previous surgery, but five to six weeks is still not crisis level, surely? Although my opinion on this would probably be very different if toothaches made life a misery.

Dental surgery Stoke Aldermoor

The waiting time is getting longer. This Aldermoor Lane operation couldn’t get me in until April at the earliest.

Bupa Dental Care, Binley Road

And even longer. This surgery, opposite Gosford Green, was unable to offer me an appointment until June or July – which I think could be considered crisis territory.

Light Lane Dental Surgery

No waiting at this practice located on the outskirts of the city center towards Radford. They basically said I could choose a time. What a crisis!?

My dentist, Kingston Road

No answer.

Hillfields Dental Surgery

Pam from Hillfields Dental on Berry Street could get me in on February 8th or if I prefer. Options…..not bad.

Willenhall Dental Center

A very apologetic receptionist told me that while they were taking new NHS patients there was a waiting list for appointments, which I had to put on and I would be contacted as soon as it was available. They could not provide an estimated time frame.

Wood End dental practice

This Deedmore Road op said they could get me in February 28th, so about four weeks from now.

Park Road Dental Care

This surgery in Station Square, the city centre, is no longer taking NHS clients despite what the NHS website states.

Is there a crisis?

So this admittedly unscientific experiment proves that there are definitely some surgeries where a wait is on the cards, but there are also some that may see you pretty soon – so it’s definitely worth shopping around, for that matter. to say.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these calls were made for dental checkups, with no specific issues mentioned – appointments requiring work could therefore take longer.

It’s also worth remembering that these results are subject to change from day to day, but are accurate when searched on January 26-27.

What the NHS says

Approached over wait times, an NHS spokesperson said: ‘Dental services are a vital part of the NHS and that is why the NHS has taken unprecedented action to boost services with a one-time investment of £50 million pounds for urgent dental care.

“NHS officials are currently in contact with local dental teams to understand where these appointments will be available.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for dentistry and teams continue to face challenges due to the specific infection prevention and control measures essential to keep patients and staff safe.

“Requirements for social distancing as well as ventilation and cleaning between patients remain in place. NHS dental activity levels in the Midlands have increased safely and significantly, but, as practices may see fewer patients on a daily basis, we are not yet able to offer dental service equal to the care received before the pandemic.

“We know this can be frustrating for people looking to access an NHS dentist. We have invested in a number of initiatives to improve access, including running additional weekend dental activities and piloting new community services for children.”

A list of local dentists can be found here.

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