In their December 2020 report, Healthwatch England found that more than 7 in 10 people (73%) found it difficult to access dental health and support when they needed it.
One of the issues raised was the lack of accurate (or any) information about whether dentists are taking on NHS patients. The main source of this information comes from the nhs.uk website, where patients can search for a dentist near them.
However, many dental practices are not updating their information on the NHS website.
Instead, many patients looking for an NHS dentist find that the dental practice's profile states: 'This dentist has not supplied this information in the last 90 days. Contact the dentist directly for more information'.
Since the report was published, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and Healthwatch England have written to dental contractors, urging them review and update their information.
The letter includes guidance on how to update an NHS profile, and a range of materials that can be used to communicate changes to dental practice services, and provide information on how the public can access dental treatment.
Click below to download a copy of the letter in full.
If you would like to share your feedback on accessing dental services or dental treatment, click the pink 'Talk to us' button below.