Place Category: Health & Social Care
Access Dental operates an out-of-hours service for urgent dental problems in Devon and, in addition, is commissioned by NHS England to provide a dental helpline for residents of both Devon and Cornwall.
Access Dental is a subsidiary of Devon Doctors, the Exeter-based not-for-profit organisation which has been commissioned by the NHS to provide urgent out-of-hours care across the county for more than two decades.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated February 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Devon Doctors has sought to ensure its core business, the provision of an Integrated Urgent Care Service [IUCS] for the county of Devon, is accessible to everyone regardless of their personal circumstances. Furthermore, Devon Doctors and its two subsidiaries [Access Health Care and Access Dental] always seek to ensure that while those who use their services benefit from the highest-possible standards this does not come at the expense of those responsible for delivering them, or the environment. In addition, Devon Doctors and its subsidiaries support a number of charitable causes, such as Children’s Hospice South West and the Devon Wildlife Trust, as well as promoting and supporting the charitable endeavours of staff members.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
Devon Doctors is committed to Putting Patients First and this mantra is central to everything it does. With the organisation being jointly owned by all the county’s GP practices, Devon Doctors is not preoccupied with satisfying the demands of shareholders and, this being the case, the pursuit of profit is not its overriding objective. Rather, Devon Doctors and its two subsidiaries [Access Health Care and Access Dental] have been able to reinvest surpluses into its various services to ensure they not only meet but exceed the expectations of both those who are commissioning them and service users.
For instance, in the past Devon Doctors has used surpluses to put on extra services, over and beyond those it is commissioned to provide by NEW Devon and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Groups, at times of peak demand.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Devon Doctors and its two subsidiaries [Access Health Care and Access Dental] are continually undertaking initiatives, often at not-insignificant cost to the organisation, to improve the level of care they offer to service users. For instance, Devon Doctors’ palliative care line ensures patients with palliative care needs, and their carers, are able to circumnavigate the routine mechanisms for speaking to a clinician in the out-of-hours period and instead given urgent priority. As one might imagine, this kind of compassion has been universally well received.
Likewise, Devon Doctors and its subsidiaries have invested significant resources in various other facets of the IUCS, as well as in Access Health Care and Access Dental services, to ensure service users enjoy the best-possible experience.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
Devon Doctors and its two subsidiaries [Access Health Care and Access Dental] actively encourage feedback from service users which they monitor closely to ensure they are providing the highest-possible standards of care. Should one of the organisation’s be made aware it has failed to meet a patient’s expectations it will undertake an investigation to see if there is anything it might have done better and, moving forward, whether, arising from this, there is any learning that might be shared.
The fact that Devon Doctors scored highly in the most recent Ipsos MORI GP Patient Survey and was rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission [CQC] suggests it is realising its aims. Indeed, in its most recent report on the organisation the CQC commented: ‘Patients said they were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and they were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment. All 60 comments and conversations, with 14 patients, were positive about the service provided.’