An independent report says that a recent survey found there were no dentists currently accepting adult NHS patients in the City.
“One dentist would take children on as NHS patients if the parents signed up to a private dental plan”
”The report, by Healthwatch York, goes on to conclude, “Our previous work looking at dentistry showed things were very challenging. However, it is clear the position has worsened”.
The background report – which was published in July – can be read here. It will be discussed at a York Council “Health and Wellbeing” board meeting on Wednesday.
The problems with lack of access to NHS dentistry in York are not new.
There have been innumerable reports into the problem with little progress in resolving the issue being made. The problems seem to have been made worse by changes to the way that the NHS pays dentists for the work that they do. Payment focus on treating active disease rather than prevention.
Even those who are registered with a practice for dental work may have to wait months for treatment.
One problem is the low profile that health performance statistics are given.
There is no routine public reporting of NHS dentist waiting lists. The Health Board – and indeed Healthwatch – could help to fill that void by providing easily accessible performance information on web sites and by promoting options on social media.
A further report is promised later in the year.