§ Mr. Roy Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision by Gwent dental practitioners not to accept new national health service patients.
§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
It is for the Gwent family health services authority (FHSA), as manager of general dental services in its locality, to address the issue of NHS dental care drawing upon its expert local knowledge. If the FHSA should experience any difficulty in securing NHS care for its local residents, it can apply to the Department for approval to employ a salaried dentist.
In the meantime, the community dental service provides a safety net for patients who are unable to obtain treatment under the general dental services.