Dental care briefing

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset wrote a briefing on their feedback on access to NHS dentistry.  The main issues raised were:

  • Not being able to find an NHS dentist who will treat people
  • Not being able to get treatment when in pain
  • Dentists will only treat children as NHS patients if their parents sign up as private patients
  • Very high cost of private dentistry.

Their volunteers also contacted 46 dental services across Bath and North East Somerset:

Two dental practices have closed

  • Only two dental services are taking on children and young people as NHS patients
  • Of the 19 dental practices who say they have both NHS and private patients, no services are taking adults as NHS patients
  • 24 practices are providing routine appointments for patients
  • 26 practices have websites and only five dental practices offer booking online appointments for patients through their website
  • 20 practices have email, with three practices offering online booking forms

The report has two recommendations about information on dentists websites about whether they are taking on NHS patients and the cost of NHS treatment.

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General details

Report title 
Dental care briefing
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 27 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 23 March, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 28 February, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Cost of services
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
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 known
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
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.