This research was carried out by Healthwatch Southend in March 2023.
Healthwatch Southend knows that local people are struggling to find an NHS dentist. We looked at the NHS website to see how up to date the information is, and how many dentists will see NHS patients. We also phoned dental practices to see how many of them are seeing children. Our results were disappointing.
- Most dentists’ entries on the website were out of date – one had not updated the entry since 2011. Only a couple of dentists were taking on new patients at the time of writing.
- We only found a couple of dentists who were accepting children.
We know that there are some dentists outside Southend who will see new patients. We took an imaginary patient and worked out the costs of her journey from Shoebury to Canvey Island. Although there is a cap on bus fares until the end of March, at other times it would cost her just over £9 and mean over three hours by bus to travel to the dentist and home. The cost of living has a real impact on people’s oral health.Read the report