NHS Suffolk dental pilot
Who commissioned the service and why?
In May 2010, NHS Suffolk established the need for an in-hours dental service pilot in Stradbroke. The aim of this pilot service was to provide an assessment of patient need and demand in the area, to ensure it meets its agreed dental access standards.
At the time of tendering, Harmoni provided the NHS Suffolk Out of Hours Dental service using a mobile dental unit. Harmoni were then commissioned to provide a 10 week pilot for the Stradbroke service, which allowed further utilisation of the existing mobile unit.
Overview of the Stradbroke dental pilot
Since June 2010, Harmoni has provided the in-hours pilot project to Stradbroke, each Thursday from 11.00a.m. – 3.00p.m. This allows for up to 12 patients to be seen. The service provides routine check-ups, fillings and x-rays, and appointments are made via NHS Suffolk PALS on 0800 389 6819.
The pilot has been extended four times due to its success, and will ran until February 2011. The service has demonstrated the need for a greater level of dental access in the area. NHS Suffolk have agreed to contract a permanent service from 1st March 2011.
We asked our patients to complete a questionnaire to assess their experience of the service:
• When asked 'were you happy with the service you have received', 98% answered 'very happy' and the remaining 2% were 'happy'
• 78% of patients were treated by the Stradbroke team for a regular dental inspection
• 46% of patients had not visited the dentist for more than two years
• When asked why patients had not visited a dentist regularly, 59% said an NHS dentist was not available and 22% said the nearest NHS dentist was too far away
• 98% of patients wanted the service for a longer period of time
The dental team were announced winners of Harmoni's October 2010 to January 2011 Staff Recognition Award for their outstanding efforts and commitment to ensuring the service's success.
Benefits to Commissioners
NHS Suffolk must comply with agreed National Dental Access Standards made particularly difficult by the size and rural nature of the county. The Stradbroke dental pilot has allowed NHS Suffolk to assess the patient demand in this area, and meet these standards.
Benefits to Patients
The accessibility of a dental service is a concern for those living in and around Stradbroke. The Stradbroke pilot means that local residents now have an improved level of access to an in-hours dental service. Patient satisfaction is high and 100% of those seen would recommend the service to friends or family.
- Related documents
- Service feedback
- "I thought the service was excellent and would hope that this becomes a regular service"
- "First class service and also on the doorstep"
- "This type of dental service is desperately needed in rural areas