Dental service boosted with extra centre
HEALTH chiefs are bringing in a new two-centre service for patients who need specialist dental treatment.
Emergency and complex restorative dentistry will be provided at Morriston Hospital, with the Port Talbot Resource Centre dealing with restorative work on non-urgent waiting lists.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board officials are negotiating a deal with Morrisons in Baglan Moors to allow part of its car park to be used to ease the pressure on the resource centre.
But the changes will see the existing restorative dentistry provision at Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital end as the consultant, who is employed by a neighbouring board, is retiring.
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ABMU planning director Paul Stauber said the board had invested in the expansion of the Port Talbot centre's dental unit with three additional surgeries and a dental laboratory.
"The revised service model will resolve existing space constraints at Morriston Hospital, providing the opportunity to improve access by increasing activity and reduce waiting lists," said Mr Stauber.
"The idea is that the complex work will be carried out in Morriston and more routine work in the resource centre.
"We can take a lot (of work) from Morriston and make it more convenient for individuals to go the resource centre, where there is greater capacity to deliver services.
"We have been negotiating with a local supermarket for use of their car park. That has been agreed in principle, and that takes some of the transport tensions out of that particular environment."
Mr Stauber, speaking at an ABM Community Health Council meeting, said waiting times for restorative dentistry were up to 36 weeks, with the treatment phase beyond that.
However, CHC member Carol Ross said she had been on the waiting list since 2009.
"I've been asked if I still want to be on the waiting list," she added.
"I've got to wait to be seen again by the consultant I saw three years ago, then be put back on a further waiting list. That is what is happening.
Mr Stauber said: "I will look into that as a specific example and see exactly what the system is saying."
However, CHC chief officer Phil Williams told members the experiences of individuals should not colour their decision, as they had to consider what was best for all patients. They noted the new-look service, which will come into effect from April.