Experiences of accessing dental care services in Shropshire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Shropshire decided to undertake further research into access to dentistry, after receiving an increase in feedback on this topic since the start of the pandemic.  They spoke to 106 people.

Over nine in ten reported a negative experience.  Over four in five were unable to register with a dentist providing NHS dental services.

There is poor access to routine NHS dental services across Shropshire but this appears to be worse in some areas, particularly Oswestry and Market Drayton. There is a lack of accurate information about whether there are dentists taking on NHS patients. There is confusion caused by the current approach to the issue of “registration”.

The report includes three recommendations to improve access to NHS dentists in Shropshire.  The report includes a response from the providers.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of accessing dental care services in Shropshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Shropshire
Date of publication 
Friday, 10 September, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 May, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 May, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cost of services
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 
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.