Health watchdog claims Bicester residents are struggling to see a dentist

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A health watchdog based in Oxfordshire has claimed that residents in Bicester are struggling to see a dentist, despite its reputation as a ‘healthy town.’

Healthwatch Oxfordshire believes that local patients are finding it difficult to get an NHS dental appointment. The watchdog recently launched a two-week project to analyse health services in the town. The initial findings indicate that the most common problem people face is trying to get an NHS dental appointment, with many people stating that they have been told to travel to Oxford to see a dentist urgently.

Members of the body have been meeting local people to discuss health matters as part of a 2-week project to find out more about services in Bicester and gain an insight into patient experiences.

Rosalind Pearce, executive director of the watchdog, said that over the course of the last few days, it has become apparent that it isn’t always easy to see a dentist in Bicester, especially if you need an emergency appointment. Several people have spoken about having to travel to go to the dentist and some have been unable to register with a dentist after moving to the area.

Access to dental services is not a common issue in the county and NHS England said that it was aware of isolated problems facing four surgeries trying to cope with increasing demand in the area. These include Bicester Dental Care, Greytown Dental Practice, Causeway Dental Practice and Market Square Dental Surgery.

Bicester’s mayor, Les Sibley, said that accessing dental care was an ongoing problem in the town and blamed a “shortage of facilities.”

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