Row over £1.3m 10,000 new NHS dental places funding

Dentist at workImage copyright PA Image caption The money will go towards dentistry in south east Wales

A row has broken out over funding for new NHS dental patients in Wales.

Cardiff and Vale health board will receive £450,000 and Aneurin Bevan £300,000 to create 10,000 extra NHS places to meet "a growing need".

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said the £1.3m was part of wider funding to improve the service in Wales.

But the British Dental Association (BDA) called it "creative accounting" and said it was a quarter of the £6.6m taken out of the dental budget in 2016.

The BDA added the cash was taken out "as a result of NHS dentists not hitting the tough targets set by government in their contracts" and not reinvested in dental services.

When asked whether cash had been taken out of dental services, Mr Gething said there would "never be a time when resources would be perfect" and there was an ongoing conversation about contract reform in the NHS.

Katrina Clarke, chairwoman of the BDA's Welsh general dental practice committee, said:"Year in, year out money allocated to NHS dentistry has been used to balance the Welsh Government's books.

"Creative accounting does not constitute new investment.The best thing the Welsh Government could do is commit to ensure all money set aside for dentistry is actually spent on improving the oral health of children and adults in Wales."

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Media captionVaughan Gething said there was no "single silver bullet" to satisfy NHS dental demand

But the Welsh Government stressed that it is not taking money from dentistry to balance its books - it was the health boards that claw back money.

It is up to the boards to decide that money is spent, but the Welsh Government press office said it "expects" them to spend it on dentistry.

Responding to the BDA, a Welsh Government spokesman said:"This is new investment - it is disappointing BDA Wales do not see it as such and are not accurately reporting the position in Wales.

"If a dental contract underperforms by over 5% the health board is required in legislation to recover the under-delivered amount.

"In many cases the recovered funding is reinvested straight back into alternative NHS dentistry by the health board.

"Any resource recovered as a result of dental contractual underperformance remains with the health board."

The Welsh Government said money would also go into strengthening specialist children's dentistry and new specialists would work with general dental teams to improve children's preventive care and treatment.

'Harder than ever'

Mr Gething said:"This will improve access to NHS dental services for people in some of the most deprived areas of Wales.

"We're also investing in new specialist paediatric dentistry to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable children are met."

A report out earlier this year said the proportion of five-year-olds with tooth decay[1] in Wales had continued to fall.

The Public Health Wales dental survey showed those from the most-deprived backgrounds had the biggest reduction over the past decade.

Welsh Conservative health spokeswoman Angela Burns urged Mr Gething to work with dentists to agree on a long-term funding strategy that "works for patients".

"One in three children in Wales have tooth decay and patients are finding it harder than ever to get on the books of an NHS dentist," she said.

"As such, it's vital that NHS dentists continues to receive the level of funding needed to adequately support growing patient numbers and their needs."...

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Sea bug attack: Why was a wading teenager left covered in blood?

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Media captionSam Kanizay, 16, was left covered in blood by the flesh-eating bugs in Melbourne

What could leave a person's ankles and feet covered in blood as they stood, unaware of what was happening, in shallow water on a popular beach?

Images of 16-year-old Sam Kanizay's injuries[1] in Melbourne, Australia, have seized attention around the world.

His father, Jarrod Kanizay, said his son had arrived home with what "looked like a war injury" after soaking his legs in Melbourne's Brighton Beach following a football game.

Experts believe the multiple pin-prick injuries were most likely tiny bite marks.

What was the likely culprit?

Mr Kanizay said doctors could not say for certain, so he returned to the bayside beach and used pieces of steak to capture "thousands of these little mite-type bugs".

"I collected these strange creatures from the same spot last night by trapping them in a net and standing in the water myself," he told the BBC.

Image copyright Museums Victoria/Caroline Farrelly Image caption Museums Victoria identified the sample as a lysianassid amphipod

Mr Kanizay sent samples to marine biologists at Museums Victoria, who identified them as a species of crustacean called the amphipod, or sea flea, mostly likely from the lysianassidae family.

However another expert, Dr Murray Thomson from the University of Sydney, said he believed the creature was another type of crustacean, an isopod called cirolana harfordi.

WARNING:This article contains a close up image of the injury.

What do these animals usually eat?

Amphipods feed largely on dead marine animals such as fish and crabs, and are themselves prey for larger marine animals.

"If we did not have them, we would have a sea full of dead fish and dead birds," Dr Genefor Walker-Smith, the marine biologist who viewed Mr Kanizay's sample, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Dr Thomson said isopods also eat mainly dead fish and marine worms, as well as living fish.

Both amphipods and isopods are mainly active at night.

So why did this happen?

It was most likely a combination of factors, including time of day and cold water numbing Sam's skin, according to experts.

The teenager has described standing for about 30 minutes before feeling pins and needles around his ankles, then shaking off what he initially took to be sand.

Associate Prof Richard Reina, from Monash University, described the case as very unusual.

Image copyright Jarrod Kanizay Image caption Sam Kanizay was seen immediately at hospital

"It's only when you get the potential for hundreds or thousands of them to start biting you, for a long period, that you get the type of injury that Sam had," he told the BBC.

"Unless you're effectively numb, [usually] you're going to notice and get out of the water before that happens."

Dr Walker-Smith said it is possible that Sam may have interrupted the animals feeding on something else.

Why did the bleeding continue?

The teenager and his family have said it took time for the blood to clot, and that on Monday it was "still seeping".

Assoc Prof Reina said this was probably due to tissue damage caused by having so many small bites.

He likened Sam's ordeal to being bitten by mosquitoes or leeches.

"If you imagine that you had your arms exposed somewhere and you had hundreds of mosquitoes biting your arm, without you realising it for some reason, then they could probably cause some fairly significant wounds as well," he said.

Is is cause for alarm?

Not according to experts, who say small crustaceans are found in abundance - making this incident an "unfortunate coincidence".

Dr Walker-Smith said it was much more likely for someone to suffer bites on a smaller scale and have only minor irritation....

References

  1. ^ Sam Kanizay's injuries (www.bbc.co.uk)

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£1.3m plan to create 10,000 new NHS dental places

Dentist at workImage copyright PA Image caption The money will go towards dentistry in south east Wales

Ten thousand new NHS dental places will be created with a £1.3m investment, the Welsh Government has said.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said it came as part of wider funding to improve NHS dental services in Wales.

Cardiff and Vale health board will receive £450,000 and Aneurin Bevan £300,000 to help meet "a growing need".

The British Dental Association (BDA) called it "creative accounting" and said this was a quarter of £6.6m taken out of the dental budget in 2016.

The BDA said this cash was taken out "as a result of NHS dentists not hitting the tough targets set by government in their contracts" and not reinvesting in dental services.

When asked whether cash had been taken out of dental services, Mr Gething said there would "never be a time when resources would be perfect" and there was an ongoing conversation about contract reform in the NHS.

Image caption Vaughan Gething said talks were ongoing about reforming contracts for NHS dental work

Katrina Clarke, chairwoman of the BDA's Welsh general dental practice committee, said:"Year in, year out money allocated to NHS dentistry has been used to balance the Welsh Government's books.

"Creative accounting does not constitute new investment.The best thing the Welsh Government could do is commit to ensure all money set aside for dentistry is actually spent on improving the oral health of children and adults in Wales."

The Welsh Government said money would also go into strengthening specialist children's dentistry and new specialists would work with general dental teams to improve children's preventive care and treatment.

Mr Gething said:"This will improve access to NHS dental services for people in some of the most deprived areas of Wales.

"We're also investing in new specialist paediatric dentistry to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable children are met."

A report out earlier this year said the proportion of five-year-olds with tooth decay[1] in Wales had continued to fall.

The Public Health Wales dental survey showed those from the most-deprived backgrounds had the biggest reduction over the past decade....

Read more

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