What we heard
Over the last year, we have had more and more people get in touch with us to say they were having trouble getting dental treatment (even when urgently needed), or registering as an NHS patient with a dentist.
What we did
Our staff and volunteers made phone calls to over 50 dental practices throughout Warwickshire - to see if they were taking on new NHS patients, or offering emergency treatment.
What we found varied across the county. None of the practices we spoke to in Rugby, and only 5 out of 22 in South Warwickshire were taking on new patients; whereas half of the practices surveyed in North Warwickshire had capacity for new patients.
We will share our findings with Healthwatch England, who has published a national report on dentistry, and with the Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group to inform them of the provision available locally.
The latest feedback we are hearing is that some dentists are removing patients from their books without consulting them, stating that it is because they haven't made an appointment for a few years; and some dentists offering appointments for privately-paying patients only.
We will continue to gather people's feedback, and to look into the inconsistencies in dental services available.