NHS dentistry may face an unstable future, according to the latest British Dental Association (BDA) statement, as forty-five per cent of people claim they are less likely to seek regular treatment under the latest restrictions. In addition, forty-five per cent of respondents also state that if they had an appointment scheduled during the recent national lockdown, they would most likely cancel it.
Almost seventy-nine per cent of dental practices report a spike in missed or cancelled dental appointments in 2021. Furthermore, forty-three per cent state they have seen a significant rate of no shows in comparison to the earlier stages of the pandemic.
“NHS dentistry may face an unstable future.“
Chair of the BDA general dental practice committee, Dave Cottam, stated: “Practices are open and safe but with lockdown back patients are voting with their feet. Cancellations are surging while increasing number of staff are sick, self-isolating or struggling to secure childcare. Targets that were always hard to justify are now impossible to deliver. This leaves scores of dedicated NHS practices set to go to the wall. To their credit Ministers have taken a pragmatic approach during this pandemic. From face masks to furlough when the facts change, so have the policies. Dentistry cannot be the one exception.”