Lack of NHS Dentist access raised in the Assembly Chamber

Local Assembly Member and Shadow Health Minister Angela Burns AM used an Assembly debate earlier this month to highlight the difficulty in accessing an NHS dentist in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Research undertaken by the British Dental Association found that there was not one Dental Surgery in the Hywel Dda Health Board area accepting new adult or children NHS patients. Across Wales only 15.5% of surgeries are accepting adult NHS patients and 27% accepting child NHS patients.

Commenting following the debate Angela said

“The difficultly in accessing an NHS dentist has been an issue since I was first elected in 2007. We  appear to have made no progress over the last 12 years with no rise in the percentage of patients in Wales having access to an NHS dentist. 

“Not only do the figures show the difficulty in getting on to an NHS dentists books but there is a staggering 1.5 million individuals across Wales who have not seen an NHS dentist in the last 2 years.

“Poor dental health can impact on other aspects of an individual’s  wellbeing and it is a true failing of this Labour led Welsh Government that no progress has been made over the last decade.

“I used the debate to urge the Welsh Government to work with the British Dental Association to adopt more innovative approaches to dental provision and so patients do not have to make the choice between travelling outside of the county for NHS dental treatment, paying to receive private dental care or opting not to visit the dentist at all.

“This situation cannot continue and I will continue to stand up for the rights of patients in South Pembrokeshire and West Carmarthenshire to be able to receive treatment from an NHS dentist”.