Healthwatch Blackpool has found that lack of NHS dental availability is a cause of growing public concern. We have been answering a large number of enquiries from people having difficulties seeing a Dentist or registering locally.
With the additional pressures of Covid-19 , members of our Blackpool community have been telling us that they cannot find a dentist accepting patients locally for new registration or routine appointments. We have heard from people who have had ongoing pain and unresolved dental issues to which have caused problems and in some cases resulted in hospital admissions.
We are aware that dental access is a national issue but Healthwatch Blackpool is particularly interested in how this national issue affects our concerned Blackpool community.
We know that ‘oral health is a key marker for the general health of the community’, and we also recognise that for Blackpool there are significant health inequalities for children,withstatistics on dental decay being above national averages.
Healthwatch wanted to investigate the spike in enquiries about dentist access in Blackpool and learn more about what local providers were offering. A small dedicated team attempted to call every local dentist with a Blackpool postcode in a mystery shopping exercise.
Please see our reports below