Have your say on our long-term plans for NHS dental services

NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB is launching a 4-week period of public and stakeholder engagement around the ICB’s long-term plans to commission NHS dental services in Norfolk and Waveney.

Since NHS Norfolk and Waveney took on commissioning for NHS dentistry in April 2023, we’ve been doing a lot of work to understand the challenges around dentistry in our area.

Our priorities for NHS dental services

We know that right now there are very few dental providers taking on new NHS patients. We’ve been hearing from our patients and communities how difficult it is to access NHS dental services.

We’ve also heard from our local network of dental providers and their representatives how challenging it is to deliver services under the current national NHS dental contract, what the national shortage of dentists and dental care professionals means for us locally, and how that impacts on their ability to deliver services.

In September 2023 we published our Short-Term Dental Plan which outlined quick decisions and investments that we could start making to improve access to urgent dental care, and to support our dental providers so they can continue to provide NHS services. You can read more about the short term plan here.

Now we are working on developing our commissioning intentions for NHS dental services for the next few years, taking into account what we’ve heard from you already, as well as our local providers.

Have your say on our long-term priorities for NHS dental services

The ICB is keen to get feedback from the public and our stakeholders on the priorities we have identified for NHS dental commissioning over the next two years. We would also like to get your views on what priorities you want us to consider in our longer-term five-year plan.

You can take part in our survey online https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/dental-priorities-survey/

Download the survey

Dental Engagement Survey

Download the survey

Paper copies are available on request by contacting our Patient Enquiries Team:

  • Email: nwicb.contactus@nhs.net  
  • Phone: 01603 595857  
  • Address: NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DH.  

You can also request printed copies of the Easy Read document, or alternative formats or translations. A Freepost address is provided on the back pages of the Survey and Easy Read documents so you can return them to us free of charge.

Please make sure your feedback is received by midnight on Wednesday 21st February 2024.

What have we heard so far?

As we were developing our Joint Forward Plan, one of the things we heard clearly from local residents is that dentistry is one of the key areas that we should prioritise.

We’ve heard from you that:

  • There are not enough NHS dentists in our area;
  • Long waits for appointments with an NHS dentist are leading to poor oral health outcomes, wellbeing, and experience for patients;
  • There’s not enough access to urgent dental services when people are in pain;
  • More investment is needed in oral health prevention, especially for Children and Young People;
  • There’s huge concern about increasing privatisation of NHS dentists;
  • Unaffordability of private dental services means people are going without care and their oral health is deteriorating;
  • Dental care should be accessible locally as not everyone can travel, or afford to travel;
  • Care should be better joined up between all health services (dentistry, GPs, secondary care, community care, etc)
  • Access is a challenge for everyone, but for those who have additional needs or who are living with a disability it is even worse. This is widening existing health inequalities.

We know that access to NHS dental services is very challenging, and we are committed to improving local access to oral health prevention and treatment services. There’s a lot of work to do and many challenges to overcome, so we need to tackle them step by step.

Please share your feedback with us by post, email, or by filling in the online survey. Your views are important to us to ensure we’re on the right track with our priorities and making a difference to our population and communities.