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Public feedback rates NHS dentistry highly

Public feedback rates NHS dentistry highly

NHS dentistry was the only service to see a statistically significant increase in levels of public satisfaction this year; at 61% it was up 7 points from 2015.

Public satisfaction with the NHS overall was 63% in 2016. The figures come from the National Centre for Social Research's British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.

Since 1983, the survey has asked members of the public - rather than only patients - about their views on, and feelings towards, the NHS and health and care issues generally.

The latest survey was carried out between July and October 2016 and asked a nationally representative sample of nearly 3,000 people about their satisfaction with the NHS overall, and of nearly 1,000 people about their satisfaction with individual NHS services.

Satisfaction with NHS dentistry in 2016 (61%) was one of the highest levels of public satisfaction with these services since the early 1990s. There was a steep decline in public satisfaction with NHS dentistry services between 2000 (when satisfaction was 62%) and 2004 (when satisfaction fell to 42%).

According to the authors this may in part reflect difficulties people had in accessing services during that time, as changes to NHS payment rates led dentists to increase the amount of private work they undertook and decrease the amount of NHS work.

Over the past decade, developments, including a focus by commissioners on increasing capacity, have led to significant improvements in access, and satisfaction has steadily increased.

Satisfaction with GP services was 72% and, as in previous years, was higher than satisfaction with any other NHS service. Overall satisfaction with the NHS was higher among people aged 75 years or older (74%).

The three main reasons people gave for being satisfied with the NHS overall were: the quality of care, the fact that the NHS is free at the point of use, and the range of services and treatments available. The three main reasons that people gave for being dissatisfied with the health service were: long waiting times, staff shortages and lack of funding.

Source: GDPUK

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