Experiences of accessing NHS dental services since the pandemic

Many people have reported difficulties accessing NHS dental services in Islington since the pandemic.

Summary

More and more people have been asking Healthwatch for help to find a dental practice that will take them as an NHS patient.

  • Patients who are already registered with a dentist have had fewer issues with access. They have often had to wait a long time for an appointment, but they have been prioritised. 
  • Patients who don't already have an NHS dentist have less access to treatment.
  • People are less likely to be registered with a dentist if a) they have recently moved to Islington (within the last two years), or b) they have fallen off the system/lost connection with their previous dentist.
  • Dental practices have an existing patient cohort and don't have capacity to take on more patients for ongoing NHS care.

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Experiences of accessing NHS dental services since the pandemic