In July to September 2013, 1.3 million adults were asked about access to NHS dentistry in the previous two years. Participants were asked if they had tried to obtain an appointment with an NHS dentist, and if so, whether it was with a practice they had been to before and had they been successful. They were also asked what their overall experience was of NHS dentistry. Patients who hadn’t tried to obtain an NHS dentist in the previous two years were asked to select the main reason why they hadn’t tried.
The results from the survey responses are presented here at national (England), regional and Area Team level.
- 1.3 million adults contacted, 450,000 replies received, with a response rate of 34%.
- Of all respondents asked, just over three fifths (61%) stated that they have tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the last two years.
- Of the group of respondents who had tried to get an appointment:
- 84% rated their NHS dental experience as positive (48% very good and 36% fairly good);
- 93% were successful in getting an appointment, a success rate of 95% when excluding the ‘can’t remember’ category.
- Respondents who were younger adults, from ethnic minorities, or who had not been to the practice before were less successful in getting an NHS dental appointment.
- The remaining two fifths (39%) of adults who did not try to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the last two years, just over half had never tried to get an NHS appointment and the remaining had tried but over two years ago.
- Of those who hadn’t tried to get an appointment:
- The main reason stated for not trying to get an appointment was “not needed to visit the dentist” which was mentioned by a fifth (20%) of those adults who did not try.
- 38% mentioned private dentistry as the reason for not trying to get an NHS appointment; 20% stating they prefer private dentistry and 18% staying when their dentist move from NHS to private.
- 13% of the respondents who didn’t try to get an NHS dental appointment gave their reason as “I didn’t think I could get an NHS dental appointment”.
The accompanying report below provides a summary of the results, at a national and regional level and gives comparisons to the previous year, and further breakdowns of these figures can be found in the tables below.
For full results of the GP Patient Survey and the questions used, see the GP Patient Survey website.
Pre-release Access List