RETURN: Barriers & tools to reduce inequalities in planned dental visiting

On 13th February 2020 Professor Rebecca Harris and the RETURN Programme team will be hosting an event that will be held at the University of Liverpool, which is approximately 15 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Lime Street Railway Station.

Every week about 11,000 people in the UK visit their GP because they have dental problems. As many as 0.7% of A&E visits are also because of dental problems. About a third of dental emergency patients have previously attended the same hospital or centre for an appointment, with 13% visiting for the same problem.

So why not use a dental practice? Why do people leave it so late?

In some areas of the country it can be difficult to find an NHS dentist – but this isn’t true in Merseyside, yet we find that people who need to go to use dental services the most are the least likely to go. This contributes to health inequalities.

We have developed a set of materials which we’d like to show to a wider audience, as we begin initial testing in NHS dental practices. We’d also like to share what we’ve learned so far from our interviews, focus groups and observations with people using urgent dental care services, and with the wider public.

The Deputy Chief Dental Officer Eric Rooney will provide an opening policy context, and then we will be sharing our work on barriers to regular dental visiting, and the materials which have been designed to help. There will be opportunity to discuss and network with different stakeholders, including people from the local community and voluntary groups.
There will be an insight into how barriers to regular dental care are really experienced in a photo-exhibition of photographs and stories from members of the public, some of whom are non-users. The exhibition will be curated by our community group, with an additional early evening event (5 pm – 6.30 pm) for anyone not able to make the full afternoon session.

To gain an insight into the barriers to regular dental care which are experienced by people, especially by those living in disadvantaged areas, and to learn about tools being developed to address these.

Learning outcomes:
• To understand the perspective of adults who currently only use dental services when they have a problem
• To increase awareness of approaches which support urgent dental service users into planned dental visiting
• To increase awareness of the value of gathering views from patients, communities and the public, and novel ways in which this can be done

This event is for dental practitioners and all members of the dental team, for policy makers, stakeholders from dental industry, interested members of the public and representatives from the community, public health, health services research and dental researchers.

The event starts with lunch, registration and networking 12.30 pm – 1.30pm

The event is free and verifiable CPD will be available.

Lunch and other light refreshments will be provided.

Numbers are restricted so please register for the event using the link below

If you have any queries, please contact Helen Rowe at [email protected] or +44 (0)151)794 8928

Meet the team

Research led by

In collaboration with

This study/project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [PGfAR project reference RP-PG-0616-20004]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.