Have you struggled to make a dental appointment since Covid? If so it seems you’re not alone. Looking after our teeth is so important, whatever our age. In fact Healthwatch Brighton and Hove have just released a report showing that the number of queries they received about dentistry rose by a staggering 271% between 2020 and 2021. People told Healthwatch staff across Sussex that:
- They were waiting longer for care unless they were prepared to pay for private treatment
- Some NHS dental practices had gone fully private
- They had been taken off their dentist NHS ‘lists’ because they had been unable to visit during the pandemic
- They were receiving unclear advice about where to get help or which dentists are taking on NHS patients, and
- They were being left in pain
The Healthwatch report highlights that patients do not need to be registered with a particular dental surgery in order to receive treatment, so you may be best to shop around to find a surgery with capacity.
As a result of the problems raised NHS England has announced changes Changes to the Dental Contract on 19 July which will mean that:
- NHS dentists will be paid more for treating more complex cases, such as people who need three fillings or more
- Dental therapists will also be able to accept patients for NHS treatments, providing fillings, sealants and other preventative care, which will free up dentist’s time for more complex cases
- Dentists much update the NHS website and directory of services so that patients an easily find availability of dentists in their local area
- High performing dental practices will have the opportunity to increase their activity by a further 10% and to see as many patients as possible.
Healthwatch advise that if you are not able to get the help you need and you need urgent treatment call 111. If you need admin support to find a dentist and make and appointment our Home & Company team are here to help. And we can also accompany you to your appointment if that’s helpful. Do give us ring Contact details