"Feel like I am never going to get seen to start..."

About: Birmingham Dental Hospital

After leaving a review on this site in July 2013 stating that I had been waiting to start treatment for braces and jaw surgery. I had been told a 12 month wait initailly, then after 12 months I rang up and was told another 12-18 months, I rang up after the 18months and was told another 12 months, I contacted the person who replied to me and was told that I'd be looking at yet another 12months wait for treatment. Well that time came and went so I rang for an update. When I actually managed to get through to talk to someone the answer I got was 'Most likely October time'. So I rang again in November as I still hadn't heard anything. The reply then 'You're probably looking at Spring 2015'. I've tried ringing, and not manage to get through to speak to anyone. All I get is an automated message saying to write to them and they will reply withing 20 days. I'm sorry, but that isn't good enough! Not after I've been waiting this long anyway! Right so I was placed on the waiting list in 2010. 5 years of waiting for treatment to commence is ridiculous!! Especially when I keep being told time frames that aren't being honoured. If they can't guarantee a time frame, don't give one!! It's as simple as that!! If any other hospital left you waiting that long for treatment (or any kind) there'd be outrage!! I want an answer. No-one should be waiting this long and being told time frames, that I feel are to just keep us happy and quiet. Frankly, I think this is appalling service and it seriously needs addressing! [Note: I had to put June2013 in the 'When did you visit' as there was no other option! I did not visit in June 2013. I have not been since 2010]

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Response from Birmingham Dental Hospital

I am sorry to read of your disappointing and lengthy wait for orthodontic treatment at Birmingham Dental Hospital. The long wait is in the main due to the way in which Specialty Registrars are recruited. They are recruited to the hospital twice a year, and are allocated a cohort of patients who are waiting for treatment. This is done in the order they were placed on the waiting list. When you have contacted the hospital for an update, you would have been advised of a 12 – 18 month wait initially and further waits of at least 6 months each time you contacted the service in line with when registrars are recruited, and based on their knowledge of your position on the waiting list at the time. Unfortunately there are some factors beyond the control of the Dental Hospital, such as the number of registrars recruited and the number of patients still in the process of receiving treatment when registrars qualify and move on to other posts. This can affect the amount of patients that are taken on for treatment each 6 months. The number of patients on the waiting list has been identified as an area of significant concern by the Trust and has been discussed with the NHS England Local Area Team, who are the commissioners (purchasers) of this service. Urgent actions are in place to address the number of patients entering the service, in order to relieve these pressures and long waiting times in the future. I would be happy to look into your specific extended wait, and confirm where you are on the waiting list which may help to clarify how much longer you are likely to wait for treatment. I will need your details in order to do so. Please do contact me at your earliest convenience, either by email Alison.last@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk or phone 0121 466 7128. I look forward to hearing from you in due course. Alison Last Associate Director of Patient Experience Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust

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