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NHS dentistry

The Times uncovers that NHS dentistry is not meeting access needs

An investigation by The Times has discovered that 24 local authorities in England aren’t accepting NHS dental patients, according to analysis of information on the NHS Choices website.

Where information is available on NHS Choices as to whether a practice is accepting new NHS patients, 49% are not currently taking on adults, and 42% cannot take on any more children, while other practices are only accepting children if they have a parent who is an existing patient.

The NHS Choices website used for The Times survey only holds information for 40% of the practices listed, for the other 60% patients must contact the practice themselves to find out availability.

‘A recent survey of patients showed that when people need an NHS dentist appointment, they are almost always able to get one, and that nearly nine times out of 10 their experience is positive,’ Sara Hurley, chief dental officer at NHS England, said.