Over the last two years, dentistry has consistently been in the top three reasons people in East Sussex leave feedback or make an enquiry with Healthwatch East Sussex.
We have looked back on what people have told us in the 24 Feedback Centre reviews and 214 enquiries to our Information & Signposting service on dentistry received between November 2020 and November 2022, as well as our 2021 dentistry survey and drawn out the key themes and issues in a summary report.
Overall, the feedback we have received indicates an overall decline in satisfaction with dental services when compared to pre-pandemic levels, but this is more pronounced amongst users of NHS services than for those paying for private dental services.
Finding a dentist accepting new NHS patients is the most common enquiry that we receive, with lots of enquiries also highlighting people’s struggles in obtaining timely access to appointments and treatment.
We also received feedback on a large number of other themes linked to the provision of dental services:
- Challenges in accessing routine and emergency dental care
- Impacts of waiting times
- Shortages of dentists and other staff
- Knock-on effects of delays
- Dentists giving up NHS contracts
- NHS versus Private dental provision
- Information on Dental services
- Patients being ‘de-registered’ or removed from practice ‘lists’
- Lack of clarity or clear information about dental treatment costs
- Repeated cancellations
- Move towards yearly rather than six-monthly checkups
The findings and recommendations in our report aim to support dentists and commissioners of dental services in East Sussex to understand the issues that people are facing and the impact it has on their lives.
Tell Us Your Experiences
If you have used or tried to access a dental service in East Sussex, then please tell us your experiences via our Feedback Centre and let us know how this has been for you. We want to hear if it has been good, bad or indifferent.
Help and support
You can also access some of our resources: