During October 2020, we carried out a survey of dental practices in Havering.
The survey was prompted by many reports of residents of difficulty in obtaining dental treatment during the pandemic.
The survey found that of the 27 practices that responded, only 4 were accepting new NHS patients at the moment. There are 45 dental practices in the borough, so only 10% of them were actively accepting new NHS patients.
The waiting time for treatment varied greatly: at least one practice had no appointments available and at some, the wait could be up to two months. Most practices were, however, fitting patients requiring urgent dental treatment into the nearest available slot.
All practices were taking thorough precautions against Covid-19 infection, although some were charging patients for personal protective equipment used during appointments.
Given the importance of good dental health to an individual’s wellbeing, it is to be hoped that NHS England will find a way to devise an improved contract offer to incentivise more dentists to offer NHS dentistry.
Dental services in Havering