Log In
Tuesday 25th October 2016

Dentists still refuse NHS patients

26th March 2007

A series of damning reports have shown that the government’s radical reforms to improve access to NHS dentistry are failing.

Dentist Chair

A year on from the changes, dentists and patients alike say they have failed to see any improvement.

The British Dental Association (BDA) surveyed almost 400 dentists and most thought access had not improved. In it’s report, Citizens Advice found huge inequity, with a quarter of dentists were taking no new patients, leaving an estimated 2m people forced to go private, join long waiting lists or go without dental care. A separate report from Which? found that two-thirds of dentists were turning patients away.

The changes introduced last April saw primary care trusts given £2.3bn, including money raised through fees, and responsibility for ensuring access, while new contracts gave dentists more time to spend with patients for preventative treatment.

But the reforms fell down as PCTs failed to make the expected revenue through charges, a view supported by Citizens Advice, whose report used evidence from government statistics, PCTs and 4,000 clients. It found that while some areas had NHS dentists fighting for patients, other areas had little access.

The BDA’s research found dentists were also unhappy with the current situation. Their poll found 85% of dentists believed the new contract had not improved access to NHS services.

Campaigners say dentists should be forced to take a certain number of NHS patients in order to be allowed to practice. The government said improvements were being made, and the number of dentists carrying out NHS work was growing.

Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2016