Valley NHS dentist open for business.


A NEW dental practice accepting NHS patients is to open in North

Wales -and there are still places left.

Dentist Tom Beggs has been given a grant by the Conwy Local Health

Board and the Welsh Assembly to open a surgery in Llanrwst.

Dozens of people have already contacted the authorities to register

themselves with the new dentist, which will be open by the end of the


The move has been welcomed by patients and health watchdogs.

Pensioner Ron a Williams of Betws y Coed said: ``This is really

good news for the whole valley because it will be so much more

convenient than travelling to Colwyn Bay for private


Mrs Williams said that when the practice in Llanrwst shut down,

many people were affected and had problems finding alternative cover.

She added: ``I hope the practice will stay in the NHS and not

eventually switch to private care.'

Wyn Thomas,chief executive of Conwy LHB, welcomed the new


He said: ``The Local Health Board is very concerned about access to

NHS dentistry in Conwy and has been working with the Assembly to secure

incentive grants so that we can actively attract NHS dentists into the


``I am very pleased that Dr Beggs has decided to come to practice

in the Conwy Valley and I am sure he will make a positive impact on oral

health in the area.'

Last week the British Dental Association (BDA) warned the dental

service in Wales is near crisis point, and more help must be given to

dentists to encourage them to open new practices.

The extent of the shortage of dentists in some parts of rural Wales

became clear in July when 600 people queued to take up the NHS places on

offer at a new practice in Carmarthen. Hundreds more had to be turned


A BDA survey revealed that young dentists were opting for

better-paid private work, rather than NHS jobs in clinics,in a bid to

make money quickly to pay off their debts.

Patients wishing to register at the new Llanrwst surgery should

contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or the Conwy Local Health Board on 01492


Rural dentists are to brush up their training on traumatic injuries

in Mid Wales on Wednesday next week.

The conference is part of a series of meetings organised by the

Welsh Rural Postgraduate Unit, a partnership between the Institute of

Rural Health and the University of Wales College of Medicine.

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