- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly Member Joyce Watson has welcomed a new pilot scheme that aims to improve access to dental care services in mid and west Wales.
Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford has given the go ahead for a pilot scheme to develop a direct access service run by dental care professionals (dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists) in the Community Dental Service in Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda Health Boards.
Mrs Watson commented:
“Waiting to see a dentist can be very frustrating and distracting. By giving patients the option to see a dental nurse or other dental professional, this scheme will speed up the system and, at the same time, free up more time for dentists to see patients.”
The new pilot scheme aims to enable dental care professionals to deliver dental care for patients. This will make more clinical time available for dentists, improve services for patients and make improvements to the referral system. Direct Access gives patients the option to see a dental care professional without having first seen a dentist. Dental care professionals can carry out specified treatments without the prescription of a dentist.
Currently there are extended waiting times for new patients and recall patients to see a dentist in many Community Dental Service clinics in Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda Health Boards and the new pilot scheme should enable additional patients to access assessment and diagnosis with a dentist more quickly.
A full evaluation of the pilot scheme will be undertaken.