Healthwatch Shropshire – access to NHS dentists

Press Release from Healthwatch Shropshire

Local Health Champion worried about access to NHS dentists

Healthwatch Shropshire has been hearing from some Shropshire residents about the problems they are having getting to see a NHS dentist. People are reporting that their dentist will no longer see them on the NHS and they will need to go private, mothers are reporting that they can’t get their children seen by an NHS dentist and those who have recently moved, including military personnel leaving the forces, cannot find a dentist offering NHS treatment in their new location. The NHS provides a ‘Find a Dentist’ service online but many people are reporting that the information is very out of date and despite ringing round dentists on the list none are currently taking NHS patients.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, explained that, “In the past we have heard of these problems and when we reported them to NHS England they were able to organise extra capacity in the areas affected but the pandemic has made things much more difficult, especially with the restrictions it has placed on dentists’ ability to see people. Oral health is tremendously important and people are worried about the long term affects this lack of access will have. As we come out of this lockdown we really want to hear people’s experiences of finding NHS dental treatment in Shropshire and find out if this issue is specific to particular parts of the county or widespread. People can contact us on 01743 237884 or online https://healthwatchshropshire.uk.engagementhq.com/dentistry-in-shropshire

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

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