Lack of NHS dentists
Last year, we received a significant number of calls from the public about dentistry. We regularly hear concerns about the lack of NHS dentists in Somerset, the resulting difficulties people face trying to get routine and urgent treatment and the impact this has on their physical and mental health, and the high cost of private dental care.
Research shows that closure of dental practises in Somerset and changes to NHS dental services have played a significant role in the lack of NHS dentists in the county.
Impact on people’s oral health
As demand for NHS dental services continues to exceed supply in Somerset, this is likely to have a significant impact on the oral health of our communities. And, with living costs rising, concerns over accessibility and affordability of dental care have heightened and contributed to discussions around heath inequality.
Share your views
We want to understand more about the current situation in Somerset, so we have launched a new survey to record local people’s views and experiences. We will share our (anonymous) findings with those responsible for dental care and oral hygiene in Somerset.
Please complete our survey and encourage others to get involved to help make a difference. [The survey is now closed]
If you require a paper copy or would prefer to feedback over the phone, please get in touch.
Freephone 0800 999 1286
Making a difference locally, regionally and nationally
NHS Somerset are now responsible for commissioning dentistry in the county, so we are gathering this insight to help them understand the current issues around access to dentistry and the impact this is having on the oral health of our communities.
We continue to highlight concerns about the local situation at a regional level by reporting regularly to the NHS Local Dental Network for the South West about the ongoing enquires we receive around dentistry. Read our quarterly reports
And we continue to support Healthwatch England’s national campaign calling for NHS England to take action to improve access and affordability in NHS dental care.