Written evidence submitted by Healthwatch North Lincolnshire (DTY0057)
Almost 9% of all contacts received in 2022 related to dentistry. Of those 70% were about people struggling to access local dental services.
Some of the comments received suggest people travelling some distance in order to access dental treatment.
Key trends –
Case study 1: Example of someone who required NHS dental assistance but could not access a practice
A lady had recently experienced around 9 to 10 teeth breaking and had tried, unsuccessfully, to find an NHS dentist. She had joined a number of waiting lists nut was unable to travel outside of Scunthorpe. The individual could not afford private treatment. They tried NHS 111 who advised that unless she was in pain or had swelling then they would not be able to get her an appointment.
Case study 2: Example of the distance some people are traveling to access dental services.
A patient explained that he and his wife live in Barton, North Lincolnshire. They were thinking of changing their dental service but were unable to get an appointment close by. As a result he is forced to travel over 30 miles to Lincoln to access dental services. His wife travels to Doncaster.
Case study 3: Children unable to access local dental services
For six years a patient had made attempts to find an NHS dentist. After he realised that he was not succeeding he opted to go private. He has been at the private practice for seven months but is concerned about the dental care of his daughter and her children “Kids should not be required to go private and should have their teeth looked after”
Healthwatch North Lincolnshire Action
We advise those containg us to continue to telephone around practices to see if they are able to join any waiting lists. We also refer people to the online NHS directory so that people can see if any dentists are taking on patients. We also inform the individual that if they experience any pain, swelling or serious dental issues then they should contact NHS 111 who will refer them for emergency treatment with an emergency dental service.
What we want to change