We wanted to find out about accessing dentists as a ‘new’ patient in Buckinghamshire.

What we did:

In March 2024, with huge thanks to our volunteers, we carried out a snapshot survey by phoning 63 dental practices and asked them four questions:

  1. Were they able to see any children (17 or under) as a new NHS patient?
  2. Were they able to see any adults as a new NHS patient?
  3. Were they able to see any new NHS patients with an exemption certificate?
  4. Were they able to see any new NHS patient who had a referral?

Key findings:

Of the 54 dental practices we did speak with:

  • 31 answered ‘Yes’ to one or more of the questions.
  • 23 practices were unable to see any new NHS patients and answered ‘No’ to all questions.

See the report in full, including a comparison of our findings to the NHS ‘find a dentist’ website and a breakdown of geographical differences between practices taking on new patients, by clicking the link in the downloads below.

Presenting our findings:

On 11 April, we presented our report on dentistry in Buckinghamshire (downloadable below,) which included the information above, at the Health and Social Care Select Committee (HASC.) Our report fed into a wider item on dentistry that was presented by Hugh O’Keeffe, Senior Programme Manager, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) and Nilesh Patel, Chair, Thames Valley Local Dental Network.

Find out more about Buckinghamshire Council’s Health and Social Care Select Committee.


Healthwatch Bucks report to HASC on dentistry – Full report

Published on 24 Apr (updated 3 Jun)

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