Accessing dentistry in Rotherham

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Rotherham reported on issues with access to NHS dentistry in the local area. This included data collected in an online survey, enquiries and case studies, and contacting dental practices directly.

279 people responded to the online survey which ran between December 2021 and January 2022. The survey looked at appointment waiting times, registering with an NHS dentist in Rotherham, and patient satisfaction.

Key survey findings

  • 70.3% of participants are currently registered with an NHS dentist
  • 88% have attempted to book an appointment within the last 12 months, with 16.7% being unsuccessful
  • Of those who are not registered, 66.4% have attempted to register with an NHS dentist and only 22.8% have been successful

Healthwatch Rotherham also contacted eighteen NHS dental practices and found that only two were accepting new patients. Many of the practices did not have a waiting list and for those that did, they were up to two and a half years long. Only one dental practice’s information was correctly listed on the NHS ‘Find a Dentist’ tool, with seven stating that they were taking on new patients, when in fact they were not.

A number of recommendations are made in the report.

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General details

Report title 
Accessing dentistry in Rotherham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Rotherham
Date of publication 
Friday, 11 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 December, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 January, 2022
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Information providing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
User stories

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.