Watchdog report suggests patients in Wiltshire are waiting 18 months for a dental appointment

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A new watchdog report suggests that patients in Wiltshire are waiting 18 months for a dental appointment.

Research conducted by Healthwatch Wiltshire suggested that practices have lengthy waiting lists and few are accepting new NHS patients.

The watchdog asked three key questions to the 48 dental practices that offer NHS services: Is the practice taking on new NHS adult patients and what is the current waiting time, is the practice accepting new child NHS patients and how long is the wait and how up-to-date is the current information on the NHS website?

The watchdog found that only 8 out of the 48 practices had NHS child places available and of the eight, five advised waiting times of between 6 weeks and 3 months.

Nine of the practices that were unable to offer NHS care were able to offer private appointments. Some practices had waiting lists of over 18 months and one clinic said that the current waiting list had 700 patients on it.

The report also revealed that over 75% of practices do not recent information on the NHS website.

Healthwatch Wiltshire suggested that there has been a marked increase in the number of complaints about dental services, with dental issues now one of the four most common reasons to get in touch with the body.

Most people who had contacted the watchdog were unable to register with an NHS dentist or make appointments, including several military families.

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