Do you have an NHS dentist?
Are you struggling to find an NHS dentist?
Have you had to use the NHS 111 service or the A&E for dental pain?
Do you have an NHS dentist but are unsure of the dental charges?
If so, then we would like to hear about your experiences of NHS dentistry in Kirklees
Recently we’ve also heard comments about poor access to NHS Dentistry for people in residential care facilities. We want to hear your experiences so that we can put them together and take them to commissioners of services.
To share your experiences and comments, please call us on 01924 450379, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Healthwatch Kirklees , Units 11-12 Empire House, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury WF12 8DJ.
How are your teeth?
Having good oral health helps you stay healthy generally. Problems with our mouth can result in pain, infection, tooth loss, time off school and work and even effects the way we feel about ourselves and stops us enjoying activities with our friends and family.
On top of this there are community programmes ranging from children brushing their teeth at schools and nurseries, to health visitors and staff in children centres and residential homes knowing how to help us look after our children’s and family member’s mouths.
The Yorkshire and The Humber Public Health England Centre Dental Public Health Team have completed a piece of work which looks at what the key issues and challenges in improving oral health are. They are keen to understand whether you think it’s correct and if not what’s missing.
This is a really good opportunity to tell the people who are responsible for NHS dental services and community programmes what things are really like, and to help change them for the better.
The document is quite long to read, but there are links to the full document and a shorter summary below.
You can either read it and comment, or just tell us about any experiences you have had over the last few years, and we will feed your thoughts back to the people who are writing the report.
Previous Dentistry Work
In July & August 2013, one of the key issues that people discussed with Healthwatch Kirklees was the struggle to get access to NHS Dental Services and problems with the service they received. In September 2013, our Trustee Board approved a piece of work to investigate why so many people report that they are unhappy with NHS dentists in our area.
Healthwatch Kirklees found that:
- Patients are routinely given misleading information about the availability of NHS dentists in Kirklees, leaving them confused and frustrated.
- Significant numbers of patients in Kirklees are struggling to find an NHS dentist for routine NHS treatment.
- Unequal access to NHS dentistry across Kirklees may be contributing to the wider issue of health inequalities.
- NHS dental contracts appear to be inflexible, based on historical demand and not an objective assessment of need, demand or accessibility. There is currently no NHS Dental Access Strategy for Kirklees.
- There were examples of poor practice which need to be raised with NHS England, the commissioner for NHS dentists.
- There is a developing issue specifically around dentures for older people, linked to the ageing population in Kirklees.
You can download and read our full report below