MS assured that dental services in the Bay will be maintained


November 25, 2020

Further to the recent news that two dental practices in North Wales are to close including one in Colwyn Bay, the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today welcomed confirmation that the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board will be working to replace the lost provision, pledging to monitor the evolving situation.

In reply to her urgent Written Question, the Minister for Health and Social Services wrote: “In terms of these two practice closures, it is important to note that funding for services which are lost remains with the Health Board.

"I expect the Health Board to work to replace the lost provision as a matter of urgency and to have interim measures in place to maintain the continuity of care for those patients who may lose access following the practice closures.”

BCUHB says that there had been more than 8,000 NHS patients treated at the Colwyn Bay Bupa practice and just over 4,200 in Caernarfon in the past two years. Industry officials are now warning that the current backlog could be storing up many issues for the future, with service providers requiring to pivot their focus onto urgent and emergency cases.

Mrs. Finch-Saunders said: “I welcome the clarity that my urgent Written Question has brought, with confirmation that the Betsi Health Board will be advised to work to replace the lost provision as a matter of priority, and that interim measures must be introduced to maintain the continuity of care for those patients who may lose access following the practice closures.

“But, as I have said repeatedly, the future of dental care for at least 12,000 patients across North Wales cannot be left to BCHUB alone. Whilst their proposed Dental Teaching Unit in Bangor is a step in the right direction, Welsh Government have left this sector out in the cold for far too long.

“In September 2020, 33% of patients were seen within 26 weeks, compared with 70.5% in September 2019."

“I will continue to monitor this situation, updating constituents and taking meetings with officials from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. However, I urge the Welsh Government to review their approach to this sector as industry officials continue to warn that the current backlog could be storing up many issues for the future.”