Responding to the Healthwatch report about the impact of the pandemic on dental services, head of the DDU John Makin said:
"We note the findings of the Healthwatch report and sympathise with patients who are experiencing the difficulties described in accessing dental care. Dental professionals understand patient's frustrations and are working within the current system and restrictions to provide high quality care.
"Patients have been understanding on the whole, but as the report shows, some are dissatisfied with long-standing contractual issues on patient registration and the difficulties caused by the pandemic, which are not of individual practitioners' making. For example, the backlog of patients requiring treatment caused by the suspension of routine care during the first lockdown and the restrictions now in place on numbers of patients who can be seen and treatments available.
"At the DDU we are already seeing the impact of the pandemic in the number of complaints we are supporting our members with and cases are unfortunately likely to increase. When examining the current situation, it's really important that the context in which colleagues are currently working is taken into account. This has been acknowledged by the CDO, the GDC and others.
"Our members are at the sharp end of dealing with the types of incidents identified by Healthwatch and we encourage them to get in touch with us for expert support in responding to patient concerns."
This page was correct at publication on 10/12/2020. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.