No NHS adult patients practices in West Wales
Because the payment is the same whether a dentist undertakes one or many more similar procedures, there is no incentive for dentists to take on extra work as they would be paid the same amount.
As a result, it is claimed the UDA system may discourage dentists from working in areas of deprivation where poor dental hygiene is more prevalent.
Mr Bysouth added: “There is a growing consensus in the Assembly recognising the need for real change. These findings need to spur the Welsh Government and health boards on to deliver a system that works for patients.”
The Welsh Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee recently backed BDA calls for reform.
In A Fresh Start: Inquiry into Dentistry in Wales it called for an end to the unsustainable NHS contract system, for comprehensive reinvestment of clawback, and for action to address a collapse in morale among the profession.
Plaid Cymru AM and chairman of the Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, Dr Dai Lloyd, said the figures confirm that the current NHS contract arrangements for dentists are not working.
He said: “The low number of practices taking on new NHS patients and the variation between different parts of Wales is a significant concern – people are not receiving the services that they need.
“Recently, the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee undertook a review of dentistry in Wales and we were clear that changes need to be made by the Welsh Government in order to improve matters, and the current contract arrangements need to change if we are to see improvements.
“The committee made a number of recommendations to the Welsh Government around changing the current arrangements, and finding a new way of making sure everyone in Wales has access to quality dental services regardless of where they are.
“We now await the response of the Welsh Government to our recommendations. Doing nothing is not an option.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “It’s disappointing that BDA Wales fail to recognise the significant changes we are making as part of our ongoing dental contract reforms.
“BDA Wales is actively involved in this programme and the changes are being welcomed by dental clinicians.
“We acknowledge there are areas where access remains difficult and are working to reach a position where everyone in Wales who wants access to NHS dental care can get it.”
adult NHS patients.