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Welsh Government urged to address local dental services


May 22, 2024 - 324 views

Speaking in the Senedd Chamber this week, Clwyd West MS Darren Millar spoke of the dental crisis facing North Wales and called for an urgent Welsh Government statement on the matter.

Darren raised the issue by referring to the “angst” of his constituents who are unable to access NHS dental services and said the situation is completely “unacceptable”.

Calling for a Statement from the Cabinet Secretary on Health in respect of NHS dental services in North Wales, he said;

“We know that NHS dentistry in the country is in crisis. We've had big price hikes for those people who can register with an NHS dentist well above the rate of inflation, and in Conwy and Denbighshire in particular, we seem to have had a an exodus from the NHS sector with people deciding to hand back their contract. Even within the NHS, we've seen the Colwyn Bay Community Dental Health Clinic announce that it's rowing out of general dental services.

“Now, clearly, this is causing a great deal of angst for my constituents, many thousands of whom are not registered with an NHS dentist. One constituent contacted me last week to say that she'd been quoted £23,000 for the NHS dental treatment that she now needed, but couldn't access via an NHS dentist.

“We've have orthodontic patients, young children, waiting 202 weeks, according to the latest correspondence from the health boards - almost four years. It's completely unacceptable.

“We need action to sort this out. People aren't getting the service that they need. There's a postcode lottery across North Wales and the rest of the country. Can we have a statement on this, as a matter of urgency, so that we can hold the Government to account for its failure to deliver improved dental care?”

The Trefnydd, Jane Hutt, said she would ask the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care give Darren an update specifically in terms of the services available in North Wales.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Millar said:“The Welsh Government have repeatedly said that they do not have the money to invest in NHS dentistry, but the truth of the matter is that for every £1 that's spent on an NHS dentistry episode in England, Wales gets £1.20 to spend here.

“Their lame excuses don’t wash with my constituents who can’t access a dentist.”