Is the Picture For Dentistry Positive In England?

The latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) State of Care Report for 2016/17 has claimed for England,

The picture for the dental sector is positive” 

1,131 dental practices were inspected and 88% of dental practices that were inspected complied with 5 key tests, for healthcare providers:

  • Safe

  • Effective

  • Caring

  • Responsive

  • Well-led

Of the inspected practices;

  • 100% of practices met the tests for being “Caring”, where staff involve and treat people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.
  • All 100% of inspected practices were “Responsive” to patients’ needs and preferences.
  • 99% of practices were “Effective” in:
    • Achieving good health outcomes
    • Promoting a good quality of life
  • 96% were found to be “Safe”, where people are protected from abuse and avoidable harm.
  • 89% of practices were considered to be “Well-led”. Here leadership, management and governance assure high-quality person-centred care, supporting learning and innovation and promoting an open and fair culture.


The CQC outlined that there has been an improvement in dental care in England over the past two years and dental practices. Most practices where enforcement action had been taken, had improved. Furthermore, Community Dental services had the best care compared to all community services. Here, 66% of Community Dental services rated as good and 22% as outstanding.

With this, domiciliary care agency had been involved in developing training for dental receptionists, to help recognise the signs of dementia and better understand any behavioural symptoms that people may have.

The report explained,

“Access to primary care dental services plays an important role in the oral and dental health of the population. Good dental care contributes to people’s overall health: early diagnosis of mouth cancer and preventative treatment and advice for children and adults is now part of a visit to the dentist.”

“But some people have better access than others: for example, homeless people, people in care homes, and people who misuse drugs or alcohol are less likely to receive dental care.”

Findings from the report showed that in the past two years (ending 30th June 2017), 51% of England’s adult population had seen an NHS dentist. This can be compared to 58% of the children’s population of England, who visited an NHS dentist.

Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association said:

“The latest CQC report represents another ringing endorsement for good practice in our profession, in spite of the huge challenges we face.”

“Dedicated colleagues continue to provide a committed service, without a penny of government investment and in the face of an unprecedented collapse in earnings. Our patients deserve the highest quality care, and colleagues are having to subsidise it out of their own pockets.”