Welsh dental services receive funding boost

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NHS dental services in Wales have received a funding boost to try and tackle treatment backlogs and increase capacity.

Practices across the country will benefit from a new funding package worth £3 million. This has been made available in addition to extra money, which has already been confirmed for NHS services.

It is hoped that extra funding, which will be provided for local health boards, will help to increase the number of available appointments and enable teams to work through backlogs.

Dental services have suffered major disruption as a result of the pandemic. Clinics were closed for several weeks at the start of the crisis and since practices reopened, they have been working under restrictions to protect staff and patients.

Eluned Morgan, health minister, said that there are “long-standing issues with access to dentistry” and this is why more money has been made available. The pandemic has made the situation worse, but some practices have been struggling to fill vacancies for some time, which has impacted NHS provision and waiting times.

The extra funding is designed to help local health boards to reduce waiting times, increase capacity and make the dental service “more resilient” in the future, according to the health minister.

The cash injection was welcomed by the deputy chief dental officer for Wales, Warren Tolley, who said that the funding would support dentists in the short and long-term.

Mr Tolley explained that dentistry has faced significant challenges due to the pandemic, but teams across Wales are working tirelessly to increase activity levels and enable as many patients as possible to get the treatment they need.

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