Warning issued over access to NHS dentists

(Title Image: National Assembly of Wales)

The British Dental Association (BDA) has warned that Wales faces a serious dental access problem as research revealed only 15% of dental practices in Wales were accepting new adult NHS patients, and a little over a quarter were accepting child NHS patients.

The access issue was more pronounced in rural areas, with no practices in the Hywel Dda health board (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire) accepting new adult NHS patients.

Chair of the BDA’s General Practice Committee in Wales, Tom Bysouth, said: “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 from cradle to grave.”

The Senedd’s Health Committee recently published a report calling for faster reforms to NHS dental contracts, while the Welsh Government said they were “disappointed” the BDA didn’t recognise changes being introduced via a reformed contract, which is currently being trialled at some practices.