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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Private or NHS General Dental Service care in the United Kingdom? A study of public perceptions and experiences.

BACKGROUND: Recent changes in the NHS General Dental Service have led to a reduction in the availability of NHS dental care and increased charges. This study explores public and user views and experiences of NHS and private dental care in the light of these changes. METHODS: The study employed a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The first phase involved a postal survey of a random sample of adults on the electoral registers in a county in Southern England, which yielded a response rate of 55 per cent (n = 1506). Follow-up face-to-face interviews were carried out with sub-samples (n = 50) selected from survey respondents. RESULTS: The evidence shows greater satisfaction with certain aspects of private care than with NHS dental care and suggests that the decline in perceived quality of NHS care is less to do with the quality of dental technical skills and more to do with perceived access and availability. However, there was general support for the egalitarian principles associated with NHS dentistry, although payment for dental care by users was acceptable even though dentistry on the NHS was preferred. CONCLUSION: The shift in the balance of NHS and private dental care reflects the interests and preferences of dentists rather than of the public. It suggests, however, that a continued shift towards private practice is a trend that the public will not find acceptable, which might limit the extent of expansion of private practice.[1]


  1. Private or NHS General Dental Service care in the United Kingdom? A study of public perceptions and experiences. Hancock, M., Calnan, M., Manley, G. Journal of public health medicine. (1999) [Pubmed]
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