New re­search re­veals that are be­ing ac­cepted at den­tal

Llanelli Star - - NEWS - Mark Smith [email protected]­

JUST one out of 45 den­tal prac­tices in West Wales is ac­cept­ing new pa­tients on the NHS, it has been re­vealed – and those places are for chil­dren only.

New re­search from the British Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion (BDA) found that 55 out of 355 (15%) prac­tices na­tion­ally were able to of­fer ap­point­ments to new adult NHS pa­tients.

And only 96 (27%) of them were tak­ing on new child NHS pa­tients – de­fined as those up to 16 years old, or 18 if they are in full-time ed­u­ca­tion.

In Hy­wel Dda Univer­sity Health Board, which cov­ers Car­marthen­shire, Ceredi­gion and Pem­brokeshire, no prac­tices were tak­ing on new adults on the NHS and one out of 45 was tak­ing on new chil­dren.

In the Swansea Bay area, the for­mer Abertawe Bro Mor­gan­nwg Univer­sity Health Board had nine out of 65 prac­tices ac­cept­ing new adult pa­tients, with 28 ac­cept­ing chil­dren.

Fig­ures have de­te­ri­o­rated markedly since a 2012 anal­y­sis un­der­taken by the Lib­eral Democrats found that 37% of new adult pa­tients were able to find an NHS ap­point­ment.

Chair­man of the BDA’s Welsh Gen­eral Den­tal Prac­tice Com­mit­tee Tom Bysouth said: “For too many fam­i­lies in Wales NHS den­tistry is now just a nice idea rather than a re­al­ity.

“We’ve found prac­tices giv­ing up on even go­ing through the mo­tions with wait­ing lists. NHS pa­tients are left with few op­tions but to travel or miss out on the care they need.

“Across Car­marthen­shire, Ceredi­gion and Pem­brokeshire, NHS den­tistry amounts to a sin­gle prac­tice that can only take on new child pa­tients. It’s hardly com­pre­hen­sive care.”

Across Wales, the BDA said 41% of prac­tices re­ported tak­ing daily in­quiries from new pa­tients ask­ing for ap­point­ments. One prac­tice in Cardiff and Vale Univer­sity Health Board said they re­ceived more than 60 calls a day from would-be pa­tients.

Pre­vi­ous BDA anal­y­sis had shown pa­tients across Wales were fac­ing up to 90-mile jour­neys for treat­ment.

Mr Bysouth said at the heart of the prob­lem was a “bro­ken” NHS con­tract that is fu­elling a “re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion cri­sis”.

The cur­rent NHS den­tal ser­vices con­tract came into force in 2006 in Wales which pays a fixed amount each year for den­tal work which is split into units of den­tal ac­tiv­ity (UDA).

No den­tal prac­tices in West Wales are ac­cept­ing new

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