Healthwatch Derbyshire is aware of the difficultly patients are facing when trying to find a dental surgery in the County that is taking on NHS patients.
We receive many telephone calls from members of the public who have been signposted to us to help them find a dentist that is accepting patients for NHS treatment. These people regularly report difficulty registering with a dentist in their local area, especially when they need treatment quickly.
Healthwatch receives information bimonthly from NHS England about which dental providers are accepting new patients. This information does not always correlate with the information held on NHS Choices, which is the source of online information that a patient would reasonably go to when looking to register with a dentist. For patients to locate and register with a dentist for NHS treatment, it would seem imperative that the information on the NHS choices website is accurate and up to date.
To establish how much of an issue this is we conducted a survey to find out if the NHS Choices website gave accurate information about which dentists were, at that time, taking on NHS patients in Derbyshire. As dentists are not contracted to keep this information up-to-date, we found that very often the information on the website is incorrect, meaning it can be very difficult for patients to know where to go if they want to register with a dentist.
The findings of our survey were sent to Healthwatch England who are talking to NHS England about this problem. Healthwatch are pushing for it to become part of the new contract that dental surgeries keep the information displayed on NHS Choices about their practices up-to-date.
Use the to find a dental practice near you. If you are having difficulty finding a dental surgery that is accepting non-emergency NHS Choices website finding a dental surgery that is accepting non-emergency NHS patients you can also contact us at Healthwatch Derbyshire as we may be able to help.
If you do not have a regular NHS dentist and think you may need to be seen urgently, you can contact NHS 111. They can give you details of out-of-hours dental services in your area. You could also see if there are any urgent care services near you that provide emergency dental treatment.