We recognise that inclusivity and freedom of choice for patients is fundamental, with robust provisions in place for patients requiring an adapted service, such as the disabled, the young and the elderly. We pride ourselves on providing responsive, effective and safe patient-centred access to urgent dental care, adapting to the evolving dental landscape with a commitment to achieving continuous quality improvement. We believe working closely with other healthcare providers to supply integrated care solutions is in the best interest of our patients and helps to provide consistency and continuity of care throughout the patient journey. More patients, fewer dentists Having provided unscheduled dental care services for more than a decade, we have seen many progressive changes to the dental landscape. While these changes have been welcome, four key issues still exist. The first of these is an increasing patient population and the resulting high level of activity this causes for dentists. This issue is exacerbated by the second major challenge, which is the growth in the number of patients with complex dental needs, requiring follow-up treatment.
As many patients do not regularly attend an NHS dental practice, these underlying issues can worsen and become more difficult to treat. Unfortunately, while demand increases, the number of available dentists has decreased. There is a widespread lack of NHS dentists with the capacity to add new patients to their portfolios and there has also been a decline in the number of local dentists looking to work in an out-of-hours setting. Tackling rising demand Dental services are facing unrelenting demand: in 2008 we saw an average of 800 calls into our Devon dental helpline per month, in comparison to the 12,000 calls we now receive per month across our portfolio. We are therefore working closely with our commissioners to establish innovative ways of working in order to ensure patients continue to receive the best care for their clinical needs. Our aim is to create additional capacity within our service in order to open up direct appointment bookings for patients who don’t have a regular dentist and who require non-urgent follow-up dental treatment following attendance at one of our urgent clinics. This will ensure patients are not left in a state of uncertainty, with no regular
We believe working closely with other healthcare providers to supply integrated care solutions is in the best interest of our patients
Access Dental was formed in 2008 and has seen significant growth since establishment