Written evidence submitted by Healthwatch Middlesbrough & Healthwatch Redcar and Cleveland (DTY0016)
Healthwatch is an independent organisation that champions the voice of local people using local health and care services across South Tees. We use their feedback and experiences and share with relevant services to inform and influence recommendations for improvements.
It is our statutory duty to provide people with information and signposting so they can make informed choices when accessing health and care services.
Through this function we have been able to log the number of enquiries we have received in relation to NHS dentistry services as below.
Since 1 April 2022 until 31 December 2022 Healthwatch South Tees (HWST) has received 160 contacts and 52 of them relate to these services. Initially we were suggesting that people contact 111 but even this is no longer an option as patients are now being directed to a revolving door without resolution. Local people are getting frustrated, and these are just the ones we are aware of. To address this, in partnership, regional Healthwatch’s produced a dentistry mythbuster, in partnership with our local LDA to inform patients of some of the reasons this situation may occur that can be found here.
Of the 52 contacts, we have been able to break down the following analysis and some of the contacts received were professionals who contacted us on behalf of groups of vulnerable women and refugees to add to our community intelligence as well as seek relevant information so they can best support their communities.
Breakdown of male and female contacts
Contact as a result of pain