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CQC report on dental access during the pandemic

21 May 2021

The Care Quality Commission has published results of its analysis of primary dental care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The CQC analysed information from different sources, including feedback to its Give Feedback on Care service and to Healthwatch, data from the NHS Business Services Authority around NHS dental activity and input from 102 providers of dental care between January and March 2021. 

The key findings of the report were:

  • Access to NHS dental care for all has been highlighted as an issue since long before the pandemic.
  • At the start of the pandemic, routine NHS dental services paused, and then practices introduced enhanced infection prevention and control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The pandemic has compounded previous issues about access to dental services, as it has resulted in reduced capacity.
  • There has been an increase in feedback from the public expressing difficulties in accessing dental care during the pandemic, which can have a strong impact on people’s general health and wellbeing.
  • CQC saw examples of dental providers adapting their practices well to respond to the pandemic.
  • Although there were some examples of dental services working well with other health and care providers in a community, there were also difficulties that prevented people from receiving a prompt, joined-up experience of care.

Read the report

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