Satisfaction ‘significantly lower’ among dental patients of ethnic minority backgrounds

Dental patients from ethnic minority backgrounds have significantly lower levels of satisfactionDental patients from ethnic minority backgrounds have significantly lower levels of satisfaction. 

This is according to a new report carried out by the General Dental Council (GDC).

It revealed that while satisfaction with dental care was high (96%), it was dramatically lower amongst ethnic minority patients (91%).  In addition, black patients are the least likely to be happy with care and treatment, with a satisfaction rate of just 83%.

‘It is reassuring that satisfaction levels overall remain very high. But the significantly lower levels amongst people from ethnic minority backgrounds are a cause for concern,’ said GDC executive director of strategy, Stefan Czerniawski.

‘This is an important challenge to all of us involved in dentistry as we have a shared responsibility to ensure equality in the provision of dental services.

‘For the GDC’s part, we are increasing our focus on big data analysis to better enable the identification of important issues like this, and the new insight this provides will enable us to work with partners towards addressing problems.’

Drop in confidence

Additionally, the report revealed that public confidence in the delivery of dental care overall has fallen. In 2018, the figure stood at 83% – but now it has dropped to 79%.

Feedback also showed that patients were most trusting of dental professionals they were most likely to have heard of.  More than half of the public (54%) believed dentists were ‘very trustworthy’. Just 2% had not heard of dentists.

The 2019 Ipsos MORI veracity index revealed dentists were in the top three trusted professions asked about. For example, 90% said they would trust dentists to tell the truth.

The GDC data also shows there were mixed public experiences when it came to communication during the pandemic. Participants wanted better consistency in information about access and availability, for example.

However, generally they expressed support for measures put in place in response to COVID-19. 

You can read the full report here.

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