“Mid Wales a barren wasteland for dental services” and the rest of Wales not that better

The scale of the dentist crisis hitting Wales has been exposed after it was revealed there are no dental surgeries taking new NHS patients in its largest county.

The Welsh Conservatives sent a Freedom of Information request to Powys Teaching Health Board asking for the number of dental practices in the area accepting adult and child NHS patients.

In both cases, the health board said: “Practices are currently taking new patients off their own waiting lists, [but] there is no immediate access to any dental practice”.

There are 26 dental practices in the health board area, 20 of them being contracted GDS (General Dental Services) practices and six are health board-run Community Dental Practices, two of which also offer GDS.

It comes after the Welsh Conservatives called for the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to drastically increase spending on NHS dentistry or risk “dental deserts” across Wales back in March when the Leader of the Opposition also quizzed the First Minister on the subject.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative MS for Montgomeryshire and Shadow Health Minister Russell George said:

“Because of poor management of NHS services by the Labour Government, we are hearing more and more stories about people forced to shell out hundreds or thousands of pounds to go to private dentists or, even, ripping out their own teeth, all a time when the cost-of-living is on the up.

“All too often, we are given excuses about the appalling lack of access to NHS dentistry in Wales and a lack of transparency is making it harder to tackle the problem – most health boards were incapable of providing this information which is a problem in itself.

“We should not forget that this comes at a time when 1-in-5 people in Wales are on an NHS waiting list – which does not include dentistry – which just goes to show the utter shambles the Labour Government is presiding over. The Minister should match devolved spending on dentistry now.”

James Evans, MS for Brecon & Radnorshire and Shadow Minister for Mid Wales added:

“It is sad to read that Mid Wales is a barren wasteland for dental services. Our region is often neglected by the Labour Government and this is having devastating consequences.

“Due to Powys’ geography and populations patterns, people often have to travel other counties or into England to access many services. While this works for many, it is really disappointing that none of the 26 dental surgeries in the country are taking on new, local patients.”

To find a dentist, you can:

If the dental practice you contact is full or doesn't provide NHS care, this doesn’t mean that there is no NHS dental care available locally. Contact the dental helpline in your Health Board area.

Dental Helplines

Swansea Bay University Health Board Dental Helpline
Covers Neath Port Talbot and Swansea areas
(24 hours) telephone 111

Betsi Cadwaladr Dental Helpline
Covers Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham
(24 hours) telephone 0845 46 47

Hywel Dda & Powys Dental Helpline 
Covers Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys
(24 hours) telephone 0845 46 47

Aneurin Bevan Dental Helpline

The contact telephone number for the Aneurin Bevan Dental Helpline is the same for both day time and evenings/weekends/bank holidays: 01633 744387

Cardiff and Vale Dental Helpline
Covers Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan
Telephone number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – Cardiff 02920 444500

Cwm Taf Dental Helpline
Covers Rhondda Cynon Taff & Merthyr Tydfil
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday telephone 01443 680166
For evenings, weekends and bank holidays only 0300 1235060

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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