Responding to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s Inquiry into dentistry in Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Interim Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“This inquiry has highlighted some of the positive work which has taken place within dentistry in Wales over recent years, with the percentage of children with at least one decayed or missing tooth falling from over 40% to under 30%. The preventative approach outlined in the Welsh Government’s long-term plan for health and social care, A Healthier Wales, has enabled Primary Care teams across Wales to make steady improvements in the services they provide.
“We are aware access to treatment and education around oral health is a challenge, and a number of local schemes have been established in Wales in order to help address these issues. Clearly more work needs to be done to encourage dentists to take on high needs patients, particularly those from deprived areas.
“Recruiting and retaining dentists is also an issue for health boards across Wales. The recent establishment of Health Education and Improvement Wales has meant there is now a long-term workforce strategy being developed. We’re confident this will help to address the workforce pressures now and in the future, not just in dentistry, but throughout the NHS in Wales.”