Why can’t I find an NHS dentist in Kirklees?

Issues around NHS dentistry in Kirklees

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In July & August 2013, one of the key issues that people discussed with Healthwatch Kirklees was the struggle to get access to NHS Dental Services and problems with the service they received. In September 2013, our Trustee Board approved a piece of work to investigate why so many people report that they are unhappy with NHS dentists in our area.

Healthwatch Kirklees found that:

·  Patients are routinely given misleading information about the availability of NHS dentists in Kirklees, leaving them confused and frustrated.

·  Significant numbers of patients in Kirklees are struggling to find an NHS dentist for routine NHS treatment.

·  Unequal access to NHS dentistry across Kirklees may be contributing to the wider issue of health inequalities.

·  NHS dental contracts appear to be inflexible, based on historical demand and not an objective assessment of need, demand or accessibility. There is currently no NHS Dental Access Strategy for Kirklees.

·  There were examples of poor practice which need to be raised with NHS England, the commissioner for NHS dentists.

·  There is a developing issue specifically around dentures for older people, linked to the ageing population in Kirklees.

You can download and read our full report below

Access to Dentists in Kirklees February 2014