Elin Jones AM has responded to reports by the British Dental Association Wales that access to NHS Dentists in Ceredigion is at capacity, and that patients are at a loss trying to find an NHS dentist.
In April 2019, BDA Wales conducted a survey of all dental practices in Wales to determine access to NHS dentistry. Of the 7 practices in Ceredigion, none were accepting NHS Children or NHS children and young people with learning disabilities. There are also no practices accepting NHS adults, and none are accepting charge exempt NHS patients. Currently, all practices in Ceredigion are unable to treat any new NHS patients. However, the BDA also highlighted that in 2019, 86% of practices in Ceredigion were accepting private patients. This is higher than the average of 77%.
Responding, Elin Jones AM, said:
“Access to NHS dentists is now at breaking point in Ceredigion, and the way in which the NHS allocates funding for this service needs to be addressed urgently.
“While many of the Dental practices in Ceredigion may have the resources, they are unable to take on any new NHS patients due to the way the contract with the Welsh Government caps NHS patient numbers. If a practice sees more patients than their contract allows they do not get paid for the work and their business is penalised.
“It seems that practices are wary of taking on new NHS patients, not only because of this restrictive target, but also because new patients can often be high need and dentists do not get paid additional sums for a complex restoration in a single course of treatment.
“Meanwhile, I am also hearing of people struggling to get appointments for NHS dental services, and appointments being pushed back, sometimes months.
“The way in which the service is commissioned in Ceredigion needs to be urgently addressed, and I will be raising the urgency of that point with the Health Minister.”
Plaid Cymru AM and GP, Dr Dai Lloyd, who also chairs the National Assembly for Wales’s Health Committee said:
“Paying someone the same amount to deliver a course of treatment on a patient regardless of the amount of work involved makes little sense.
“These figures confirm that the current NHS contract arrangements for dentists simply aren’t working. The low number of practices taking on new NHS patients and the variation between different parts of Wales is a significant concern – people are not receiving the services that they need.
“The National Assembly’s Health Committee believes it is time to end the current arrangements and find a new way of making sure everyone in Wales has access to quality dental services regardless of where they are.”
Young People raise money for local charities
On 10 December 2019, young people from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club hosted a Christmas Fayre stall, selling cakes and donated bakes from the local community to raise money for young people receiving care at Angharad Ward, Bronglais Hospital and West Wales Domestic Abuse Service. The club was led by Ceredigion Youth Service and raised over £400 for the charities.
The young people learnt how to make and produce different products, sell and raise money for charity. This gave the young people the opportunity to feel a sense of achievement by giving to others.
Ruby Cook from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club said, “Our Cooking Club is made up of young people from Ysgol Henry Richard who attend the after school cooking club. The club focuses on cooking and leaning new life skills. It also gives young people an opportunity to socialise with their friends. We had a great time working on this project, where we baked cakes and had fun in the Christmas Fayre selling them. We would like to thank the local businesses which also donated to our stall. With your support we were able to raise more funds and give more young people gifts this Christmas.”
Mrs Ffion Davies, Ysgol Henry Richard said, “It was a lovely evening seeing the Cooking Club members have fun while making and selling cakes for worthy causes. The enthusiasm the young people showed when giving up their own time to help others at what can be a vulnerable time of year for some was inspiring. Thank you and well done to Ceredigion Youth Service and the Cooking Club members.”
Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I want to congratulate the Cooking Club for their hard work and great achievement. I’m delighted that they not only raised a good sum for charity, but had fun and learnt at the same time. I’m grateful to the Ceredigion Youth Service for their continued good work and support of young people in the county.”
Ceredigion Youth Service is the designated Service for young people aged 11-25 in Ceredigion, dedicated to supporting young people’s personal, social and educational development through specialised support and open access provision. Provision includes School Based Youth Work, Outreach Youth Work and Youth Clubs. For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS.
Ben Lake MP pledges support for local pubs in Ceredigion
Ben Lake MP has today pledged their support for the Long Live the Local Campaign to help pubs in Ceredigion keep their doors open. Ben Lake joins the more than 240,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 335 in Ceredigion alone.
Ben Lake MP is calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the Budget. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers now pay 40% of all beer tax across the EU, but drink only 12% of the beer. Seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer, underlining how directly a cut in beer duty will help pubs. Brewing and pubs in Ceredigion supports 1169 jobs and contributes £23.1m to the local economy.
Commenting on the campaign, Ben Lake MP said:
“Pubs are at the heart of communities across Ceredigion, but with three pubs closing their doors for good every day across the UK, we must acknowledge that these community assets are facing significant challenges as they try to stay open. For this reason I am supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the Chancellor to cut beer tax for licenced premises in this year’s Budget to support pubs in our local communities.”
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe. When over two thirds of all alcoholic drinks purchased in the pub are beers, a cut in beer tax would go a long way to protecting pubs across Ceredigion. We are very grateful to Ben Lake for their support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling for a cut in beer tax to protect our pubs.”
Police investigate after child dies in west Wales caravan fire
DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the circumstances around a fire at a caravan in Ceredigion in which a child died.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Cockwell said: “We received a call at 5.35am today (Sunday, January 19), reporting a fire at a caravan at Ffair Rhos.
“Enquiries so far lead us to believe that three people were inside the caravan at the time the fire broke out. These were a father and two children – a four-year-old, and a little boy who we believe to have been aged three.
“While the father and the eldest child were able to get out of the caravan, the younger of the siblings was tragically found deceased inside.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult and traumatic time, and specialist officers have been put in place to support them.
“The father is currently in a stable condition in hospital, while the four-year-old is critical but stable. Both suffered burns.
“The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the cause of the fire, and a major incident room has been set up at Aberystwyth Police Station.
“We are also working closely with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who were in attendance when our officers arrived. We would like to thank our colleagues at the fire service for their professionalism in dealing with what turned out to be a highly traumatic incident.
“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the Ffair Rhos area around the time of the fire, who might have information that could help our investigation.
“This was a tragic incident, and we will be doing all we can to find answers for the family, whose world will have been torn apart by this morning’s events.”
If you have any information that could help officers, call the Criminal Investigation Department on 101, using Storm reference 39 of January 19.
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