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Thursday 20th June 2019

GP patient survey dental statistics, January to March 2011, England

16th June 2011

NHS dental access questions were originally included in 2009/10 Quarter 4 (January to March 2010).

In the most recent quarter (January to March 2011), 1.4 million adults were asked about access to NHS dentistry in the previous 2 years. Participants were asked if they had tried to obtain an appointment with an NHS dentist and if so what was the type of appointment and had they been successful. Patients who hadn't tried to obtain an NHS dentist in the previous 2 years were asked to select one reason why they hadn't tried.

The results from the survey responses are presented here at national (England), Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and Primary Care Trust (PCT) level.

Main results

  • 515,000 responses, 37% of the 1.4 million people contacted
    60% of adults in the survey tried to obtain an appointment with an NHS dentist in the 2 year period before January to March 2011 quarter;
  • 94% of respondents who tried to obtain an appointment within the past 2 years were successful. 6% were unsuccessful (Success percentages exclude those who didn't remember the outcome, unless stated otherwise).
  • Respondents who have tried more recently are more successful. 96% of respondents trying within the past three months and within the past six months stated they were successful.
  • For 79% of adults the last appointment sought was for routine dentistry; 17% were seeking an urgent appointment, 3% other type of appointment and 1% could not remember.
  • 83% of the most recent appointments sought were with the dental practice previously attended.  In these cases, the successful percentage over the past 2 years was 96%1;
  • For the 14% of patients who sought appointments with a new dental practice in the last two years, 78% were successful, 21% were unsuccessful and 2% couldn’t remember the outcome;
  • North East SHA area had the largest percentage of the adult population seeking an NHS dental appointment in the last 2 years, at 66%, whilst South Central SHA had the smallest, where 52% sought an NHS appointment.
  • Success in getting an appointment. North East SHA had the largest percentage, with 96% successful over the last 2 years, followed by the East of England and the West Midlands both with 95%. London SHA had the lowest percentage with 92%.
  • For patients seeking an appointment in the last 2 years at a practice they had not been to before, North East had the largest percentage successful, with 86%1, North West and Yorkshire and Humber had the smallest (73% ).

Adults who have not tried to get an NHS appointment in the last 2 years;

  • 40% of respondents did not try to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the last 2 years,
  • The most frequent reason was 'I stayed with my dentist when they moved from NHS to private', which was mentioned by 20% of adults not trying for an NHS dental appointment in the previous 2 years.
  • 'I have not needed to visit a dentist', was the second most frequent reason at 18%.

Further breakdowns of these figures can be found in the summary tables below, together with a copy of the dental questions used in the Survey.

The Survey's results can be found under the related link, to the GP Patient Survey website.


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