Health Minister Eluned Morgan has confirmed that a new dental academy in Bangor could be established before the end of the year.
The Minister confirmed the timetable after being asked about the state of NHS dental services in North Wales by Arfon MS Siân Gwenllian.
Siân Gwenllian said she was inundated in her daily work with local adults and children who could not access dental services, and asked the Minister of Health for a timetable for the development of a dental academy in Bangor in his constituency.
Eluned Morgan responded by saying the North Wales Dental Academy would be established in the autumn of 2022 and that she hoped the opening of the academy would lead to ‘significant improvements’ in patient access in North Wales “in the near future”.
Morgan’s comments were made in response to a request made by MS Siân Gwenllian d’Arfon for an update on a “shocking” lack of supply in local dental services.
Siân Gwenllian of Plaid Cymru said: “I am often approached by constituents facing a shocking lack of dental services.
“The growing number of people who cannot register with an NHS dentist includes children. In the past, patients were willing to travel to access services, but there are no spaces with dentists in all of North Wales.
“Waiting lists can vary from 2 to 5 years. Patients wait days for emergency appointments. Many call 111 or are given a specific number to dial, but often do not receive an answer.
“Voters talk about being given a phone number, only to end up being put on hold for up to 3 a.m.
“One person who approached me claims to have dialed a number 200 times, not always speaking to a member of staff.
“I am glad there is light at the end of the tunnel for these patients, with talks of opening a Bangor Dental Academy in the fall of 2022, but the situation is urgent and urgent action is needed. to remedy the current lack of provision. ”
In response to Siân Gwenllian MS’s intervention on Senedd soil, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Services claimed that Covid continued to strain services, but the opening of a new dental academy would ease the pressures.
“We are still in a situation where COVID has affected services. We were down to 50% until very recently, we are now back up to around 80% and of course a lot of people want to see a dentist after waiting so long.
“As for the new academy, I am very pleased that the new academy will open in Bangor in the fall of this year, and once it is fully established we expect to see access for 12,000 to 15,000 people.
“It will be open six days a week. So that will make a significant difference.
“But in the short term, the board of health has created more access for people who are in an emergency, and they’ve created access for those who find themselves without a dentist in an emergency.”