SOME Wiltshire dental offices have waiting lists of up to 18 months while others offer private treatment at reduced prices to avoid the queue, according to a grim monitoring report.
The group then asked three questions of each practice:
- Are dental offices accepting new adult NHS patients and what are the wait times?
- Are dental offices accepting new child NHS patients and what are the wait times?
- How up-to-date is the NHS website that lists dental offices
Of these practices, only eight (16%) were taking new children.
Five of the eight practices cited wait times for children ranging from six weeks to three months.
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Nine of the practices contacted by Healthwatch Wiltshire, who said they were not accepting new patients, offered private treatment through a discounted myOptions payment system, or direct paid private care.
This, the report suggests, means dentistry is available but not for NHS treatment.
Additionally, of the 48 practices, 37 (77%) are not up to date on the NHS website.
Firms reported having waiting lists of 18 months or more. One practice said they had 700 people on their NHS waiting list.
Dentistry was among the top four reasons people contacted her in 2021, according to Healthwatch Wiltshire.
He told LDRS that the vast majority of user reviews were negative.
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This was where people were trying to register with an NHS dentist or looking for follow-up for an emergency appointment.
Healthwatch added that many of those contacts came from military families looking for an NHS dentist. ”
WHAT YOU SAID
An experience shared by readers of the Wiltshire Weekly, as many said they too had difficulty securing dates.
“Yes, closest to Salisbury and I live in Warminster. My dentist struck me off for agreeing with about 30 other people on Facebook who were saying how bad they were, ”Cox said.
“So I have been without a dentist for about six months now.”
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Lennie J Townsend said: “Yes, I have been waiting for over 6 years now. I need dental care that I just cannot afford in private.
Sharon Harvey-Evans said: ‘Yes, the dentist I was with canceled three times during Covid with only a few hours of cancellation.
“They told me they were going to change my date and now I’m off their books because it’s been too long since there was a date.
“And I can’t find another dentist to take anything.”
Alison Mcdonagh said: “I am NHS my nine year old son has no NHS place at our dentist I have to pay for him! She told me it would be a six month wait list for him, that was more than twelve months ago, my dentist keeps canceling my appointments and then sending me a letter telling me that I have to postpone an appointment because I do not seem to have followed my treatment I can not win!
Helen Chick Cunningham wrote: “My dentist canceled three times and each time it was the day before my appointment after sending me the form to fill out.
“The last time they canceled was last February, they texted me and told me I shouldn’t contact them, they would be in touch to arrange another meeting in time. desired.
“I’m still waiting 11 months later… how long do you have to wait?” ”
When asked why they are not accepting new patients, practices gave reasons such as a shortage of dentists, the practice had reached its NHS cap, the impact of Covid and dental offices changed their operations to accommodate more private treatments.
Since 2013, access to NHS dentistry has been a recurring issue for Healthwatch teams across England.
Healthwatch England’s 2016 report found that the situation had not improved and that there was a lack of consistent advice on how to access dental care.
A CQC report, based on data from the NHS Business Services Authority on the total number of registered NHS dental activity units (UDAs) – in 2020, this was 58% less than in 2019.
In May 2020, these levels were at their lowest with a reduction of 98% compared to the same month in 2019.
These problems were only worsened by Covid as services were not regularly restored until June 2020.
Nationally, Healthwatch has reported that the lack of access to dentistry has intensified throughout the pandemic.
Digging into the experience data of over 8,000 people between April 2020 and September 2021, I found; four in five people had difficulty accessing NHS dentists.