NHS Nottinghamshire County (NHS Notts County) had experienced a reduction in residents attending NHS dentists since the new contract was introduced in 2006. A campaign had been planned in outline, but was put on hold until a greater degree of consumer insight could inform campaign strategy and planning. A challenging target to increase uptake of dental services had been agreed with the PCT board.
What did we do?
Quadrant was brought in by a joint team comprising senior commissioning and oral health directors. Our task was;
- To develop customer insight into understanding reasons for non-attendance
- To test potential interventions
- To recommend a way forward for NHS Notts County which would reverse the trend of declining numbers of attendees
We conducted qualitive research across the country with both non-attendees and with those attending private dentists. A range of propositions was developed and tested with the focus groups, as was some proposed marketing collateral. An internal review was conducted to assess the capability of running a programme and campaign which could increase uptake of services.
What was the breakthrough for NHS Notts County?
Our work allowed us to recommend a strategy to NHS Notts County which would clearly be able to increase the uptake of services amongst the prime targets, those who currently do not attend any dentist. This covered the four critical elements required for success.
Our review, however, had identified additional work the PCT needed to do in order to deliver on all these aspects; any gaps in service delivery would have an adverse effect on both first time and followup attendance.
The PCT is now working to ensure that the service delivery aspects of its dentisting provision will meet the needs to current non-attendees.