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Healthwatch response to findings by Which? on access to NHS dentist services

16/06/2015

Healthwatch England response to findings by Which? on access to NHS dentist services

Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, says:

"We hear a lot in the news about people struggling to access their GPs but getting an appointment with an NHS dentist is often even more frustrating!

"Not only is the information available to patients constantly out of date, but our own mystery shopping has revealed that in some areas just a fifth of surgeries are actually accepting new NHS patients. Indeed we have heard reports from local Healthwatch of people having to travel up to 40 miles to find somewhere with appointments.

"But misleading information is just one of a catalogue of issues local Healthwatch have been uncovering with regards to dentists. In particular patients have reported feeling they have to have costly private treatments such as hygienist appointments to avoid being struck off the books, and in some cases patients fear that dentists are performing more basic treatments on the NHS like tooth extractions rather than doing more costly fillings.

"We fully support this campaign from Which? and urge anyone who has issues with their dentist to share their experiences with their local Healthwatch and help us to continue to build the case for change."

Healthwatch Bradford and District want to hear about your experiences with getting an NHS Dentist in our district. Speak out.

We're working together with other local Healthwatch across West Yorkshire to try to call the system to account and improve access and information for patients. Your views and experience can help us campaign for improvements.

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