Brown boosts dentistry in Wales
 

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Brown boosts dentistry in Wales

 

Brown boosts dentistry in Wales

Dentistry proved one of the Welsh winners from Gordon Brown's 10th budget.

The Chancellor allocated Wales an extra £17m from his budget for this year, and £28m for next.

While Mr Brown is concentrating the extra spending on education, the Welsh cabinet decided a significant element should go to dentistry.

Sue Essex, finance minister, said: 'Our aim is to bring patient access levels up to at least 40%. In order to speed up the delivery of this vital public service, £2.6m is being allocated to the provision of primary dental services to make sure the target is delivered across Wales.'

Health minister Brian Gibbons said this boosts to £30m the extra being invested in Welsh dentistry with the launch of the new contract.

A government press notice listed where the extra cash is going: £18.8m for personal dental services and GDS; £1.7m for out-of-hours service; £1.8m for dental vocational training programmes to provide up to 65 training places; £700,000 for training overseas dentists and those returning to work, occupational health provision, and the new national clinical audit scheme; and £7m for a centrally-held fund for targeted development of dental services.

Ann Lloyd, head of the Welsh NHS, refuted local press reports that dentists in the southeast are ready to 'desert' the NHS because of the new contract. She said she had received a 'pretty good response' of local dentists signing the new contract by the middle of its first week.

According to official figures, last September the counties significantly below the 40% target were:

Anglesey 37%
Carmarthen 28%
Ceredigion 27%
Flintshire 32%
Gwynedd 28%
Pembrokeshire 23%.

The only counties with figures below 40% for children are Ceredigion (38%) and Merthyr (35%).

Dr Gibbons said: 'These statistics have yet to take into account the great success personal dental services pilot schemes have had, with the creation of 154,000 extra NHS dental places over the last few months.'

 Posted on : Tue 16th - May - 2006

 

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