Healthwatch Bradford spoke to 1,019 people in a survey carried out from January to March 2016. Our findings mean that access to dentistry has remained one of our priorities.
We talked to people in the local transport interchange, bus stops, shopping areas, the city market, pharmacies, community and advice centres, children's centres and GP practices. The survey was also promoted through the local media, Healthwatch website, and social media.
• 43% did not have an NHS dentist
• 30% of parents told us their child/children did not have a dentist
For those with a dentist:
• 39% of people with a dentist had experienced problems finding a dentist in the past
• 21% who had a dentist said it was difficult for them to get to their current dentist, with many travelling out of the area to see an NHS dentist
• Most who had a dentist reported that they were happy with their care
Trying to find an NHS dentist:
• 403 people had no dentist but wanted to find one
• 74% of people said they had tried but couldn't find a local dentist accepting NHS patients
• 45% had contacted local dentists
• 31% tried internet searches
• 28% asked family and friends
• 25% had used NHS Choices
• 17% had contacted NHS 111
• 21 people said they didn't know how to find an NHS dentist
• 10% of those who don't have routine NHS dental care have had to attend A&E because of dental pain
• A further 20% of people have used emergency dental services
• Other people told us that they had resorted to 'DIY dentistry' including extracting their own teeth
Working with colleagues in Kirklees, we presented to the joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee for West Yorkshire in March 2017, where NHS England and other stakeholders were invited to account for what action they were taking to address the problem.
With our Healthwatch colleagues we’ve agreed a joint approach with the Chief Dental Officer to look at the average length of time between dentist appointments – exploring whether increasing the recall interval for adults with healthy teeth would free up capacity for those who need it.
To share your experience of dentistry in Bradford - contact us.