Yet again, it is being reported in the Neath Port Talbot Guardian that there is no end to the dental crisis in Wales, with patients living within the Borough having to travel as far as the Rhondda Valley for NHS dental treatment.
The article goes on to say that remarkably:
"None of the 17 dental practices in the borough are taking on NHS patients while an advert in the Guardian last week promoted NHS places available in Ferndale and Treorchy."
Aberavon AM, and Health Minister, Dr Brian Gibbons has recently said,
"We have already started to see a rise in the number of NHS dental places available thanks to the Personal Dental Services Scheme."
Where? We ask. Certainly not in Neath or Aberavon.
The Liberal Democrat approach would be to:
Focus on increasing the use of mobile dentists to serve the most rural areas and more salaried dentists to serve areas of particular shortage. Alongside this we will expand the use of dental hygienists and therapists, who are trained to do much of the routine work currently done by dentists, increasing the number of training places.
Reform the Welsh Dental Initiative to provide capital grants for dentists wishing to set up practices in rural areas. We will also employ salaried dentists to do school check-ups and focus on dental health and prevention at primary school level and at playgroups and nurseries, building on the Community Dental Service.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Manifesto 2007