Norfolk asked to share dental experiences

A survey is under way to find out how easy it is to access NHS non-emergency dental care in Norfolk.

Healthwatch Norfolk, which aims to gather the health and social care experiences of people in the county, wants to find out more about the challenges people are facing.

In the last financial year, around a third of all Healthwatch Norfolk’s inquiries related to this issue.

As a result, it is keen to map out the situation further to understand the depth of the problem.

It has designed a survey which aims to look at:

  • The challenges around getting a non-emergency dental appointment.
  • How easy it is to get care for a child.
  • Booking an emergency appointment through the 111 service.
  • Getting out-of-hours support.

You can share your views and experiences in several ways. These can be:

Online at

Calling Healthwatch Norfolk on 0808 168 9669 (lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday).

Or email [email protected] to arrange a time for one of their team to call you back.

Survey responses will be collected until July 26.

The findings will then be shared at Healthwatch Norfolk’s first Dental Summit which will be held at The Garage in Norwich on Thursday September 19 at 5pm.

This will also be an opportunity for people to put questions and get practical advice from a panel of experts.

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, said:

“A lot of people have contacted us to share their concerns about NHS dental care in Norfolk.

“If you can spend 10 minutes completing this survey, this will give us the chance to understand the issues and get some data around those which we can share with those providing dental care in Norfolk.”

The event will come approximately six months after the publication of NHS Norfolk and Waveney’s Long Term Dental Plan which set out timescales to tackle some of the issues identified by the public.

Earlier this year, Healthwatch Norfolk also carried out a preliminary study to look at the availability of care.

Its findings included:

  • No practices we contacted registering new NHS patients of any age.
  • 43 per cent of Healthwatch Norfolk’s inquiries between January 2023 and January 2024 were from people unable to access NHS dental care, around the same as the figures from the previous year.
  • There were long waiting lists to be seen at some practices to register as a patient, with 4000 waiting at West Earlham Dental Practice in Norwich, and 6000 at Dentistry For You at Marham, near Swaffham.

Alex Stewart said: “We recognise that there are a number of challenges providing NHS dental and health bosses have said it will take them time to implement a lot of them, but we are keen to see progress on some of the key parts of their Long Term Dental Plan and also share the latest situation affecting people in Norfolk when it comes to receiving dental care.”