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cover of dental care in enfield april 2023 published by healthwatch enfieldHealthwath Enfield have published the results of their recent research into the state of dentistry in the borough. Readers will probably not be surprised to learn that the majority of dental practicies (34 out of 43) are not currently accepting new adult patients on the NHS, and three of the nine that are have a waiting list. For children the situation is somewhat better: 16 practices (41%) are taking on new NHS child patients.

While the number of requests for help made to Healthwatch in the second half of 2022 was considerably down on earlier periods, Healthwatch surmise that this may be because patients have simply given up trying to get NHS treatment. As they put it,

The vast majority of enquirers had been unsuccessful in finding NHS treatment locally, for themselves or family members, in some cases after making many enquiries (over 20 in one instance) and over several days

Healthwatch say that those without NHS cover include new patients not yet in the system and a large number who have been de-registered by their practice and are now obliged to pay. Worst affected are people on benefits and parents on low income seeking treatment for their children. Other groups with particular difficulties or concerns include older people, those with dementia, the physical or learning disabled, pregnant women and new mums.

Lack of accurate information and transparency is an issue:

It is commonly reported that patients have been de-registered for NHS treatment without notification, and that information on websites can be inaccurate or misleading. Many patients have simply been ‘turned away’ without any support.


Accessing dental care in Enfield (Summary information Enfield Healthwatch website 18 April 2023)

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