|Revision of Table 1, Table 5, result summary and short notes.
Table 1 and 5
Previous methodology for Table 1 & 5 overcounted respondents who shared multiple reasons for not being successful in getting NHS dentists’ appointments which had the impact of reducing reported success rate of making an appointment. Updated results showed:
Table 2 – revised results for London region’s age bands 16-17 (80%), 18-24 (71%), 25-34 (66%), 35-44 (68%) and 45-54 (71%). These were previously reported as 17%, 30%, 59%, 81% and 89% respectively due to error.
Table 7 – revised results for England – all respondents “who prefer to go private dentist” (28%), male respondents who “don’t like going to the dentist” (5%), female respondents who were “on a waiting list for an NHS dentist” (3%), female respondents who “who prefer to go private dentist” (31%) and female respondents who mentioned “another reason” (14%). These were showing 29%, 6%, 4%, 32%, and 15% due to averaging error which forced results to be rounded up rather than down.
In addition to incorporating these in the result summary and short notes about overall satisfaction section have been updated with overall respondents’ feedback. Previously it was only referring to “With a dental practice they had been to before for NHS dental care”.
We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.
September 08, 2023
In January to March 2023, 2.6 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.
Since July 2022, results have been shown at ICS level following the changes made in the Health and Social Care Act 2022. Comparative analysis would be most suitable when using GP Patient Survey Dental Statistics from 2022 onwards.
The results from the survey responses are presented here at national (England), regional and ICS level.
2.6 million GP Patients aged 16 and over were contacted, 759,000 replies were received, with a response rate of 29%.
- Of all respondents asked, just over half of people (53%) tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the last two years, an increase of 1% from last year.
- Of the group of respondents who had tried to get an appointment in the last two years;
- Excluding those who had not indicated if they visited the same dentist, 70% rated their NHS dental experience as positive (40% very good and 30% fairly good);
- 75% were successful in getting an appointment, a success rate of 77% when excluding the ‘can’t remember’ category. This is the same as last year however this remains much lower than pre-pandemic success rates (94% in 2020 when excluding ‘can’t remember’). It should also be noted that success rates in the past 3 and 6 months were higher (81% in past 3 months and 82% in the past 6 months).
- Respondents who had not been to the practice before were much less successful in getting an NHS dental appointment, 33% compared with 84%. 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, 28% had never tried to get an NHS appointment and 19% had tried but over two years ago.
- Of those who had not tried to get an appointment:
- 29% 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.
- Over a fifth (21%) of those patients who did not try stated they had “not needed to visit the dentist” as the reason for not attending, a decrease of 3% from the previous year.
- 22% 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 4% from last year.
- A smaller proportion (5%) stated they found 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.
Pre-release Access List
How to provide feedback about the results
NHS England intends to ensure that our published statistics meet the needs of people who use them. We are committed to making information as accessible and useful as possible.
We therefore welcome feedback from users of the statistics and will consider your comments when reviewing future presentation of the statistics.
You can tell us what you think by emailing us at email@example.com