Two year wait for dental appointment slammed

NHS England say it’s recently increased the dental capacity on the Island, but one patient was told she’d have to wait up to two years for a check up appointment.


An almost two-year wait for a routine dental appointment has been blamed on a shortage of dentists — although health bosses said the number of Isle of Wight dentists had increased.

A patient at My Dentist, Pyle Street, Newport, booked a check-up for November, following a routine dental appointment in January this year.

But last week she received a letter cancelling the appointment and advising her to call the surgery.

She was told the next available appointment was September next year. She was told she could see a hygeinist is June — but it would cost £50.

Patient: “A terrible state of affairs”
She said:

“The receptionist told me there were only two dentists at the practice now.

“It’s a terrible state of affairs when people have to wait so long for what is essentially a routine appointment.

“It’s just another example of NHS shortages. There have been so many cuts there isn’t enough money to fund what should be a very basic service.”

NHS guidance
The NHS recommended time between check-ups varies, and can be as short as three months, or as long as two years.

The patient said:

“I’m just lucky I don’t have anything wrong with my teeth. But what about other patients?”

NHS England: Increased dental capacity on Island
A spokesperson for NHS England said it was unable to discuss individual cases.

Any patient in pain, or who requires urgent dental treatment, can access care via the NHS 111 helpline, and an urgent appointment with a local dentist will be booked within 24 hours.

An NHS spokesperson said:

“NHS England has recently increased the dental capacity on the Island, however, we are aware that some practices are currently experiencing staffing shortages.

“We are working with providers to ensure that all is done to fill the existing vacancies as quickly as possible. Any patient in pain should contact 111 and ask for the Dental Helpline, who will be able to book them an urgent appointment or direct them to nearest practice offering routine care.

“A patient whose routine appointment is cancelled will normally have the opportunity to rebook, but If the patient remains unhappy with their dental care, they can complain to the dentist or to NHS England.”

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: skajalee under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 9:46am



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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5 Comments on "Two year wait for dental appointment slammed"

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At least the patient in this report got the letter… I didn’t and turned up for my appointment on Monday morning. I also have an appointment for September 2019. It’s just getting to the point where we all expect nothing on the Island to avoid perpetual disappointment.

This issue is affecting people all over UK; it is not specific to IOW or even England; Wales too has an NHS Dentist crisis. PLEASE UNDERSTAND: the ongoing removal of basic, essential health services is a deliberate tactic being used by the government, to shunt people into private health care services. People who can afford to, already pay to avoid the lengthy waits for basic healthcare; people… Read more »

The third alternative is one described to me last week. For an urgent appointment you ring a pay day loan company and borrow a few hundred to get the treatment you need. It is being done everywhere at the moment so maybe the government have invested in Wonga as well?

My wife got an NHS appointment within 2 weeks…! Just saying… I’m not disputing the problems that exist however, I do question why it is that professionals in the NHS, nurses, Doctors or Dentists, don’t want to come and make a life here on the Island… What can it possibly be that stops people considering the Island – housing is reasonably priced, educational facilities and schooling is… Read more »
Sally Perry

Nice try in attempting to deride what we do ‘realitycheck’. We publish plenty of positive stories and have a proud tradition over the last 13 years of celebrating the talent and achievements of Islanders.

As far as articles about the NHS, we just report the facts, and if the facts are what you view as ‘negative’, there’s not much we can do about it.