Healthwatch Herefordshire conducts dental engagement
NHS England and NHS Improvement is responsible for commissioning NHS Dental Services to meet the local population’s needs. They are aware that there is a shortage of NHS dental services in Herefordshire and say that this is mainly owing to the difficulty in attracting dental providers to the area.
Healthwatch Herefordshire said: “The previous engagement work they have done with potential providers has indicated that they may not be able to achieve having dental services in every small town and village across Herefordshire. However, they remain committed to building a stronger foundation that would put them in a better position to incrementally build NHS dental services across the county as appropriate. Subsequently, they are taking a new approach and looking to commission a new dental service that would be larger and centrally located in the hope that it would be more attractive for a new provider.”
Nuala Woodman, Deputy Head of Primary Care Commissioning, NHS, said: “We recognise that having care centrally located is not ideal. We are well aware of the rural nature of Herefordshire and that people in some of the smaller towns have challenges in traveling but we want to get a better feel for that. The aim is that we will get provision out more locally in due course.”
NHS England and NHS Improvement would like to involve patients and carers of patients in shaping future services by asking a number of questions about what is important about accessing dental services in Herefordshire.
Healthwatch Herefordshire is working with them to do that by conducting an online survey and by holding seven focus groups in communities in the county.
To take part in the online survey: www.tinyurl.com/Dental-survey
To register to take part in a focus group: www.tinyurl.com/DentalEngagement
A focus group will take place at the Larruperz Centre in Ross-on-Wye on 20th April 7pm-8.30pm.