10,000 new NHS dental places are to be created in some of the most deprived parts of Wales as part of a £1.3m investment by the Welsh Government, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething announced.
The additional places are being created as part of a wider package of investment to develop new and improved NHS dental services across Wales.
As part of this investment, £450,000 will go to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and £300,000 to Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to provide access to new NHS dentistry places. Cardiff has seen significant population growth and this additional funding will help meet a growing need. New access is also planned in the areas of greatest need across the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
In addition, new investment is being made to strengthen specialist children’s dentistry services. This will see new consultant and specialist appointments being made to work with existing community and hospital-based services. This will help increase access to specialist paediatric dental services closer to home and ensure those children with highest treatment need have timely access to treatment.
The new specialists will work closely with general dental practice teams to improve children’s preventive care and treatment services in NHS dental services in Wales. It’s expected up to 3,000 additional patients per year will be able to access specialist paediatric dentistry services as a result, which will reduce waiting times for hospital-based services.
Other investments as part of a wider reform of the way in which NHS dental services are delivered include:
- Funding for courses to equip all dentists in Wales with the skills and knowledge they need to lead their teams in the delivery of effective preventive treatment and care
- A clinically-led dental e-referral management system for Wales that will improve the quality of patient care and reduce waiting times for treatment
- Improving dental information to better understand variation in provision and to link the use of services by patients to improve the value of services and outcomes of care
- Widening access to training and education for communities by offering opportunities for people who want to train and work as dental care professionals.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:
“Improving NHS dental services and patients’ access to them is a priority for the Welsh Government.
“I’m really pleased that the investment I’m announcing today will create 10,000 new NHS dental places. This will improve access to NHS dental services for people in some of the most deprived areas of Wales.
“We’re also investing in new specialist paediatric dentistry to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable children are met. The investment in specialist paediatric dentistry will help improve NHS dental treatment and care for those children who are affected by dental disease.”