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Workforce Matters Seminar held in Wales

In Wales, significant reforms to dentistry and the dental workforce are underway.

These reforms apply to all sectors of primary care, secondary care and the Community Dental Service (CDS), alongside the ongoing General Dental Services (GDS) Contract Reform.

In response to these efforts, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) launched their strategic dental workforce plan, currently under consultation.

On 14 July 2023, the BDA Cymru committees met for a combined seminar on Workforce Matters, allowing members to use their expertise and share their views on workforce issues.

The three BDA Cymru committees, Welsh Council, Welsh General Dental Practice Committee (WGDPC) and Welsh Committee for Community Dentistry (WCCD), were joined by John Milne, BDA President, Kirstie Moons, Post Graduate Dental Dean of HEIW, Alexandra Rawlins, DCT and HEIW Fellow, and Roger Pratley Secretary of Morgannwg LDC.

The day featured three plenary sessions: Education and Training, Career Pathways, and Workforce Planning. A variety of talks were given, covering subjects such as Undergraduates and DFT, Career Opportunities in the CDS and Engaging Our Early-Years Workforce.

Kirstie Moons gave a talk on Strategic Workforce Planning, which was an overview of the HEIW responsibilities and functions, both across dentistry and dental education and training. The topics discussed ranged from the necessities for good workplace planning, including the right sized workforce with the right skills and diversity, to the five key priorities for transformational change in Welsh dental services.

These key priorities were identified as:

  • Timely access to prevention focussed care
  • Sustained and whole system change underpinned by contract reform
  • Expanded teams trained, supported, and delivering to scope of practice
  • Oral health intelligence and evidence driving improvement and planning
  • To improve population health and well-being.

These would be tackled through dental system and contract reform including primary, secondary and community dentistry.

Each discussion was followed by a series of breakout sessions. These covered topics such as recruitment and retention of the dental team, and how to encourage collaboration between dental practitioners, educational institutions, and government bodies to address workforce challenges. These sessions led to feedback and observations containing valuable feedback to both the BDA Cymru committees and HEIW.

The event provided dental professionals an opportunity to debate workforce matters with their peers, as well as HEIW. Dental professionals from the GDS, CDS and academia provided assessments of their experiences, which will be used by the BDA Cymru committees to inform future policy work.

David Johnson

David Johnson, Chair of Welsh Council, welcomes members to the seminar

Russell Gidney

David Johnson, Chair of Welsh Council, welcomes members to the seminar