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Lack of dentists in north Wales to persist says health board

8 August 2019

Lack of dentists in north Wales to persist says health board

Parts of Wales are facing a lack of NHS dentists, according to an AM who has urged the health board to act.

In December two practices closed; one in Bangor, the other in Menai Bridge, leading to concerns that many people have been left without access to regular dental care.

Anglesey's AM, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said the shortfall of dentists has "very real implications" for the area.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it is working on a solution.

Mr ap Iorwerth said the health board admitted it anticipates "the current position... will persist for a while yet."

They also said, in correspondence with the AM, that following the closures of both practices, all of their "modest" additional capacity has been "rapidly filled", and this has not offset the full impact of recent closures.

"It is a serious problem that has very real implications for dental health across the region", Mr ap Iorwerth told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"Following a series of letters on this matter, the health board now admits the scale of the problem and says it'll be some time before it's resolved, but this highlights the urgency with which we need to address the shortfall in services locally.

"One of the problems highlighted regularly is a lack of dentists being trained and recruited locally.

"We need them to solve this current crisis."

In response, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: "We are working hard to identify opportunities to accommodate additional patients in neighbouring practices.

"We are developing a long term solution for the provision of primary care dental services which will involve commissioning new dental services in the area."


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