Attractive new offer for dental trainees set to improve dental care in rural Wales

A new recruitment initiative aimed at encouraging future dental trainees to take up
opportunities across rural Wales has been launched by Health Education and
Improvement Wales (HEIW).


Most new dental graduates choose to complete their Dental Foundation Training
(DFT) year in a general dental practice. However, many dental graduates prefer to
complete their DFT year in more urban areas, leaving some practices in rural parts
of Wales under resourced with empty training positions.
In 2021/22, 6% of vacancies were left unfilled. This meant that support packages
had to be rapidly put in place for these practices, and unfortunately access to NHS
care for the local population in that area reduced.


As a solution, HEIW has launched DFT WERO (Welsh Enhanced Recruitment
Offer), a new initiative to encourage trainees to complete their training in a rural
practice and increase dental services for people in the area. The initiative offers an
enhanced support package for trainees who carry out their DFT year in specific rural
dental practices in West, North and Central Wales.
This new package includes benefits such as:
 £5,000+ rural living grant
 weekly study day programme
 royal college membership exam fees covered by HEIW
 £600 study budget towards exam preparation
 access to free online learning resources
 wellbeing support.


Kirstie Moons, HEIW’s Dental Postgraduate Dean said “I am delighted that HEIW
can offer local incentives to grow and retain our dentist workforce in traditionally hard
to recruit areas in Wales. This initiative is approved by Welsh Government and will
help ensure continued NHS dental care to people in rural areas. It will also safeguard
Dental Foundation Training places in these dental practices for newly qualified
dentists to apply to in future years.”
William Howell, practice owner at Cardigan Dental Practice which offers a dental
training place, added “Cardigan offers so much from a thriving town centre to its
beautiful beaches and countryside. Our new dental practice has state-of-the-art
facilities, experienced staff who are passionate about teaching and potential
employment opportunities once the training has been completed. We will do
everything to make trainees feel welcome and I’m sure they’ll end up falling in love
with the area just like we have.”


The initiative will open to new and upcoming graduates from Cardiff University
Dental School, and graduates of other schools who have an existing link to Wales in
February 2023.
To find out more, visit HEIW’s website.

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