Bedford Borough NHS Dentistry

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bedford Borough has been dealing with an increase in people contacting it for help to access NHS dentistry. 

They wanted to know if dentists were taking on new NHS patients. They therefore undertook a deep dive, looking at both the NHS website and dental practice websites in both late December 2021 and early January 2022 to understand if the information was meaningful, current and easy to understand.

their audit found that just over half of the dental practices had no information available on the NHS website. Thus, it was ‘not known’ if they were accepting NHS patients. The entries available to the public for these practices only gave a date on which information had last been supplied, ranging from 2011 to 2021. Of these dentists, only one of the dentists had further information on their practice website regarding NHS patients.

The report contains 5 recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Bedford Borough NHS Dentistry
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bedford Borough
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 22 March, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 December, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 January, 2022
Key themes 
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

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 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
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? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.