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Department of Health

Department Of Health

Strategic Development Research – Exploration of current NHS dentistry provision amongst professionals and the public.


Indigo Research were tasked with helping understand attitudes towards the provision of NHS dentistry with the objective of both improving access to NHS dentists as well as helping develop a clearer, more defined offer.

To establish the views and experiences of patients, providers and commissioners of dentistry and bring their views and needs together to identify ways to evolve, develop and communicate the current contract.


A two-phase project amongst PCT commissioners, dentists, patients and the general public.

Combined methodology using hall tests – for headline views from a very broad spectrum of the public, depths – case history and detailed feedback and focus groups – for more open-ended creative discussion.

Interim workshop session with members of the Dental Strategy team helped generate ideas for evolving the dental contract which were subsequently tested out in a further stage of research amongst patients to develop ideas for the future contract.


Indigo Research extracted very clear understanding and insights gathered from both providers and end users. Research integrated all findings to provide clear directional guidance and suggestions for changes to the contract together with recommendations for better ways to communicate the service to patients and the general public.

Findings from the research were fed directly into the broader Dental Strategy Review Team (led by Professor Jimmy Steele) and the Health Minister and, as a result, changes are now being planned to review and pilot changes to the NHS dental contract.

Published report

Steele Report – Dental Strategic Review
Dentist and consumer attitudes towards NHS dentistry
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