At the end of 2020, Healthwatch East Sussex (HES) said: “There is a looming crisis over the lack of public access to NHS dental treatment in East Sussex.”
Data from NHS England and NHS Wales shows that more than 2,500 dentists – up to 8% of the workforce – stopped treating NHS patients last year.
East Sussex CCG lost 7% of its NHS dentists last year, data shows.
Since then, HES has conducted a public inquiry in East Sussex.
The survey examines different aspects of dental services, including wait times, advice, treatments, referrals and costs.
The report states, “Wait times for emergency and routine dental treatment leave many people frustrated, with some experiencing significant negative physical and mental effects from the delays.”
He also revealed that just 10% of practices in East Sussex were accepting new NHS patients.
HES has found that people are ‘struggling to access emergency and routine treatment’ as well as ‘experiencing delays and cancellations’.
This prompted the people of Eastbourne to share their experiences.
Carrie-Louise Attwood said: “It’s a joke! My kids had an appointment in April and they called and canceled the night before because both dentists left. I’ve called several times as my daughter has had issues in the past and they haven’t made a replacement yet. I have tried to register with other dentists and no one is taking new patients.
Dawn Owasil said she waited four months for an appointment only to have it canceled two days before she was supposed to attend.
Many residents said they had to seek private dental care.
Celia Izzard said: “I had to go private. £500 for treatment. I’m retired. That’s almost all my money I get in a month. Can’t get the NHS for love or money these days.
Many residents have been told that the cancellations are happening due to a lack of staff. Nicola Ford said she showed up for her appointment to find the practice was closed for this reason.
One issue raised by many was that for many practices you are removed from the patient list if you do not show up for two years. Due to pandemic delays and cancellations, many are finding they are pulled from their practice with nowhere to go, through no fault of their own.
Paulette Miller said her son had been removed from her NHS dentist patient list due to being away for two years. She said it was due to the pandemic and he is now on a six-month waiting list.
Megan Paul simply said, “It’s been a nightmare.”
An NHS South East spokesperson said: ‘Dentists have been operating throughout the pandemic to treat those who need to be seen and anyone in need of urgent dental treatment will get it from a dentist. local.
“Practices have seen a gradual return, due to the requirement to follow national infection control guidelines, to now operate at 95% of pre-pandemic levels, resuming routine appointments.”