Most people know the importance of good oral hygiene in our overall care, we can do much of the preventative care ourselves by making sure we have a good oral routine, however being able to access local dental services is also critical to this.
We know in Lincolnshire that the provision of NHS Dental Care has been challenging in certain pockets of the county for a considerable amount of time. We also know the time and effort that has been applied in trying to ensure that new services are put in place. We are disappointed that despite efforts to get a new practice in place for Spalding residents following the closure of 1A dental practice last year, the latest news that no new practice is on the cards for Spalding for the immediate future comes as a blow for local people.
However we are delighted to see 2 new practices promoting services for local residents in Sleaford and Lincoln by Treeline Dental Care, catering for thousands of new patients. We will looking to engage with the practice patients later in the year to hear how their experiences of the service are developing.
With the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan this week, focus on action for prevention and health inequalities are integral, we acknowledge that our workforce should be pivotal, and having the right number and calibre of staff trained and in training to meet the growing health needs is necessary.
Sarah Fletcher, CEO for Healthwatch said, “So many people have contacted us exasperated and desperate to access NHS dental care for themselves, family and children, but with services limited in parts of the county this has not been possible without significant travel which isn’t always an option for people. In light of the Spalding disappointment we would hope now that some immediate action is taken to support those patients, but we also welcome the new providers to the county and look forward to working with them in the future to support the patient voice”.
If you have any experiences you wish to share with us about dental or any other health and care services please do not hesitate to call us 01205 820892 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A further statement from our CEO
Healthwatch Lincolnshire is concerned that the recent news from NHS England with regards to the delays in providing new dental services in Spalding will have a significant impact on residents living in the area.
We have been waiting patiently for the new services to be up and running in early 2019, only now to be told these services will not be available yet due to lack of dentists.
“This news is will be difficult to hear for residents of Spalding and District who have been waiting to register with the new services” said Sarah Fletcher, CEO of Healthwatch Lincolnshire. Sarah went on to say “we will continue to liaise closely with NHS England with regards to new dental services in Lincolnshire and are hoping they will be able to rectify the situation sooner rather than later”.
On behalf of patients we also asked why current NHS Dental contracts in Spalding cannot be extended to take on more patients, apparently NHS England have offered this to existing services but they have been clear they do not wish to increase their current capacity.