The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised NHS England for “dragging its feet” in setting up an urgent care system for dental patients, putting further strain on already overstretched GPs.
At the end of March, dental practices were ordered to suspend all routine treatment, as part of plans to prevent the spread of coronavirus. NHS regions were instructed to set up local urgent dental care centres.
However, GPs have told HSJ they have been experiencing a rise in calls from patients with dental problems, but when they direct them to the urgent care centres, appointments appear to be limited. The BDA has said, in some regions, there is “nowhere” to send patients in need of urgent dental care.
Sources working in primary care and tech said GPs were dealing with a spike in demand from dental patients who did not know where to go.
Source: HSJ, 17 April 2020