Local residents forced to pay for private dental care

Many Newtown residents are being forced to spend hundreds of pounds on dental care due to the lack of NHS dental care – the area’s Senedd member complains.

Russell George MS, said there was a serious problem with access to NHS dental care in the area.

The Welsh Conservatives have sent a freedom of information request to the Powys Teaching Health Board asking for the number of dental practices in the area accepting adult and child NHS patients.

In either case, the health board said: “Practices are currently removing new patients from their own waiting lists, [but] there is no immediate access to a dental practice for adults”.

There are 26 dental practices in the health board area, 20 of these are contract GDS (general dental services) practices and six are community dental practices run by the health board, two of which also offer GDS .

The Welsh Government was told to dramatically increase spending on NHS dentistry or risk ‘dental deserts’ across Wales in March and Shadow Health spokesman and Montgomershire Senedd member Russell George MS , recently called on the government to reconsider the new dental contract and invest in dentistry in mid Wales.

Mr George said: “Unfortunately I have had to raise this issue several times over the past few months, and nothing has changed.

“I hear more and more stories of people having to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds to go to a private dentist or even pull their teeth at a time when the cost of living is rising. .

“Too often we are given excuses about the lack of access to NHS dentistry in Wales and a lack of transparency makes it more difficult to address the issue – we really need to address this urgent issue.

“The new dental contract means dentists have to choose between old clients and new clients, with many dentists turning to private work. This only worsens access to dental appointments.

“It is truly disappointing that none of the county’s 26 dental practices are accepting new local patients. The Welsh government is now expected to match devolved spending on dentistry.


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