Patients have been urged to ‘compare the market’ before they choose a dentist, under a new online government initiative to put the customer in the boss’s seat.
The ‘dentist comparison’ website will allow the public to contrast the services offered by local dentists and will feature comments from patients revealing their experiences in the chair.
The information displayed includes:
* Opening times
* How easy it is to get an appointment
* How highly patients would recommend the dental practice
* How well patients felt they were treated by staff
* If patients felt they were involved in decisions about their care.
Mr Burns said: ‘The internet has become a two-way street. Rather than just viewing information online, like people did years ago, it’s the norm for people to share experiences and leave comments for others to read.
‘Businesses have adapted to this powerful development, and the NHS needs to as well. From today, people will be able to directly communicate with NHS dental staff online, giving them a clear picture of the results they are achieving.
‘They can use this information to improve their services, and achieve our aim of health outcomes being among the best in the world.’
The website is at www.nhs.uk/dentalservices and promises to offer information on England’s 22,000 NHS dentists on a single page, to avoid patients ‘having to search multiple sources’.
Mr Burns said patients can already rate services at hospitals and GP practices online and a similar service, allowing parents-to-be to compare maternity services was launched earlier this month.