Your views about Dental Services

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Summary of report content

During April to June 2015, over one third of the enquiries Healthwatch Leicestershire received were in relation to accessing dental services. There data tells them that many patients struggle to find and access NHS dental provision and that they have difficulty understanding dental charges. Healthwatch Leicestershire decided to gather more data so that we could gain a deeper understanding of public opinion. The aim was to allow local people to quickly share their opinions and experiences of dental services across Leicestershire. They heard from 260 people via online and postal surveys and face-to-face engagement. The majority of respondents told them that the service they received from their dentist was very good. However many often struggled to find an NHS dentist. Many people struggle to find and access an NHS dentist locally; in some cases patients are travelling over 10 miles to receive NHS treatment. Those who do find provision are often advised that they will be placed on a waiting list or off offered a private appointment. Many patients told Healthwatch Leicestershire that they switched from a private to an NHS dentist due to cost. Elderly patients told Healthwatch Leicestershire that they found treatment to be expensive. Almost half (40%) the people that they heard from were not entirely confident in understanding their charges and entitlements. In some cases patients would pay twice for the same treatment. There is a need for clearer communication so that patients can easily understand treatment price bands and what they are entitled to. The majority of patients that Healthwatch Leicestershire heard from were happy with the care and treatment that they receive from their dental practice. Many have had very good experiences and have built a good relationship with their dentist. There are others that have had very bad experiences causing them to change practice due to lack of confidence with their dental practice.

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General details

Report title 
Your views about Dental Services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Leicester
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 1 October, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people'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? 

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.