Monday, July 30, 2007

“What do you think of NHS dental services?”

Cumbria's Patient and Public Involvement Forums are, sadly, soon to be abolished due to one of the government's worst recent pieces of legislation.

However, while they are still with us they have launched a new Dentistry Watch campaign to ask for public views on dental services in Cumbria.

They aim to assess a range of issues including public access to NHS dental services, patients’ experiences of treatment and the views of dentists themselves.

Dentistry Watch has been prompted by a large number of forums which have identified issues surrounding NHS dental care.

The chairman of Cumbria Primary Care Trust PPI Forum, Kevin Morrall explained that

“In 2006 new measures came in to improve the provision of NHS dental care throughout England. These gave each PCT a duty to provide reasonable dental care services in their area to meet local patient demand.

“However, evidence suggests that numerous people are either unable to register with an NHS dentist close to their home, or do not know how to find one.

“Many PCTs are also struggling to find the budget to encourage private dental practices back into the NHS system due to lack of funding.

“We hope by questioning patients, the general public and dentists, we will be able to provide an accurate picture of NHS dental provision, whether it matches current government figures and the overall quality of care.”

Patients will be questioned throughout August and up until the beginning of September. The Dentistry Watch campaign comes on the back of the highly successful Care Watch and Food Watch campaigns, which highlighted patients’ views on whether they had been treated with dignity while in hospital, and concerns over the quality of hospital food.

For details contact Jane Macfarlane from the Inhouse Forum Support Team in Cumbria on 01768 899608 or email ForumSupport.

Some of the information in this post came from the News and Star.


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