24 May 2021
Healthwatch England has published a report on dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing concerns around levels of access, which has been picked up in the national media.
The findings indicated that, between January and March 2021:
- 80% of people found it difficult to access timely care
- 59% reported a negative experience of care
- 3% reported a positive experience.
Reported problems concerning NHS dentistry included delayed and unequal access, disrupted care, pressure to go private, being left in pain and provision of poor information. Responding the the findings, Healthwatch has called for action in four areas:
- A more rapid and radical reform of the way dentistry is commissioned and provided.
- Using the reform of commissioning to tackle the twin crises of access and affordability.
- Greater clarity in the information about NHS dentistry.
- Look at using dental practices to support people’s general health.