GP Patient Survey Dental Statistics; January to March 2022, England
In January to March 2022, 2.5 million adults were asked about their views on NHS dentistry as part of the GP Patient Survey. 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 if they had 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.
There have been changes with regards to geographies. This year results are available at ICS level rather than CCG level. In addition there have been small changes to two questions the first covering reasons why people did not try to make an appointment with an NHS dentist and the second why people were not successful in making an appointment with an NHS dentist.
The results from the survey responses are presented here at national (England), regional and ICS level.
2.5 million GP Patients age 16 and over were contacted, 720,000 replies were received, with a response rate of 29%.
- Of all respondents asked, just over half of people (52%) tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the last two years, a reduction of 4% on last year.
- Of the group of respondents who had tried to get an appointment in the last two years;
- 78% rated their NHS dental experience as positive (46% very good and 32% fairly good);
- 73% were successful in getting an appointment, a success rate of 75% when excluding the ‘can’t remember’ category. This is slightly lower than last year and remains much lower than pre-pandemic success rates.
- Respondents who had not been to the practice before were much less successful in getting an NHS dental appointment, 32% compared with 82%. Younger adults and ethnic minorities also reported a lower success rate. A lower proportion of younger adults and respondents from ethnic minorities had been to the practice before, compared to other respondents.
- Of the people who did not try to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the last two years, 27% had never tried to get an NHS appointment and 21% had tried but over two years ago.
- Of those who had not tried to get an appointment:
- 28% stated they preferred private dentistry. This year there was not an explicit option for people to state they stayed when their dentist moved from NHS to private.
- Nearly a quarter (24%) of those patients who did not try stated they had “not needed to visit the dentist” as the reason for not attending.
- 18% 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” this is an increase of 5% on last year.
- A smaller proportion (5%) stated they fond NHS care too expensive.
- This year we did not ask explicitly if people did not make an appointment because they had no natural teeth
The accompanying report below provides a summary of the results, at a national and regional level, and gives comparisons to the previous two years where appropriate. 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.
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