Latest guidance regarding NHS dental care

November 25, 2020

 

We are receiving many questions about how people can register with or receive treatment from an NHS dental practice currently.

We know there are significant difficulties in accessing NHS dentistry, so we’re sharing NHS England guidance that has been issued to all practices.

The guidance says practices should:

  • Prioritise patients with urgent care needs.
  • Patients requiring an urgent appointment should be offered the next available slot, whether or not they have been treated on the NHS previously at the practice.
  • There is an expectation that priority must be given to patients in pain, irrespective of whether they are new patients or not to a practice over the provision of routine dental care.
  • The above measures are expected to remain in place regardless of any local lockdown restrictions so patients can be assured that their urgent dental needs will be met.

On the basis of this, if you have an urgent need, currently any dental practice should triage your needs and offer an appointment if appropriate.

However, we know it’s not always that easy. You can call 111 and ask to be seen at an urgent dental clinic if your need is urgent.

Some dentists are holding a waiting list, so it’s just a case of ringing round to see if anyone has a list that you can join (you may have to look outside of your local area).

All dentists are listed here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

You can explain to the dental practice that you’ve contacted Healthwatch Calderdale and that you understand this to be the current guidance.

If you continue to struggle, let us know which practices are not following this guidance & we can look to take it further.