Ammanford’s dental patients are at risk of being elbowed aside by the Health Board following last week’s announcement that the Margaret Street Dental Practice is closing its doors for good.
Unless the Hywel Dda Health Authority prioritises the issue and sources an alternative NHS dentist, many people could find themselves without a dental health care provider.
“With many households feeling the squeeze as the cost of living crisis heightens, private dental care is likely to be an unaffordable option,” said Cefin Campbell, MS for Mid and West Wales.
“Mid and West Wales is already facing a growing crisis in NHS dental provision with long waiting lists and a drop in the number of NHS dentists, and the loss of NHS provision at Margaret Street will further amplify this emergency. This is worrying news for many residents across Carmarthenshire.”
Meanwhile Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has described the announcement as a ‘bitter blow for the town of Ammanford’.
“We know that 16 NHS Dentists have been lost in the past year in the Health Board and the decline in access to services is really putting a strain on people in our communities,” he said.
“As a result, the health board must urgently provide an alternative for patients who are on NHS treatment lists.
“We’re totally appreciative of the backlog and service pressures that the pandemic has created in the Health Sector, but we need to ensure that patients don’t end up feeling the brunt of this pressure in the form of a lack of access to routine treatment.”
Adam Price and Cefin Campbell are currently in the process of making representations to the relevant bodies to seek assurances on behalf of constituents including the Hywel Dda Health Board and the Welsh government.
The Margaret Street practise will be closing on July 31, 2022. Patients are being asked to visit the website or contact the dental services team on 0300 303 8322 for information on how they can access NHS dental care at another practice.
Alternatively, you can contact the health board by emailing HDHB.Dental.email@example.com or by telephoning 0300 303 8322 to be put on a holding list for the new practice once the service is in place.