September 2021

Hear the latest update from the North Wales Dental Academy. Listen to Peter Greensmith, Project Director, provide an overview of where the project and procurement is up to, the future vision and what individuals and practices can do currently to get involved.

What is it?

Coming soon – Autumn / Winter 2022!

The North Wales Dental Academy at Bangor practice will be a flagship dental practice in North Wales, which will embrace all the requirements of contract reform, adopting a preventive approach to care for all. Increased access will be available to those patients with higher levels of need and it will provide a full range of high quality, evidenced based care to meet the needs of the population. The practice will offer services to the population beyond traditional core hours to ensure that all those patients who seek to access dental services are able to do so.

Core to the service will be the ability to embrace innovation. This will include: 

  • abandoning the Unit of Dental Activity mind-set
  • adopting ACORN led integrated care
  • use of digital technology where appropriate to improve care

Longer term we see the North Wales Dental Academy helping to shape the development of driving innovative change in the provision of care. 

aerial photograph of Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales

Training & Upskilling 

The academy will work closely with stakeholders Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and Bangor University to deliver training and upskilling opportunities to existing dental professionals across North Wales, as well as offer Dental Foundation and Dental Clinical places to attract newly qualified professionals to the area.

The training offered will be linked to identified areas of need, both current and future, and will link to work force analysis and referral data. This will allow us to develop and utilise skilled practitioners in the area, assist them to become accredited and commission services within primary care.

Initially the academy will also link to existing programmes of education, QI and peer review, encouraging cluster working across practices. In the longer term it will link to the objectives of the Primary and Community Care Academy in offering upskilling and innovation across the primary care workforce.



Linking educational opportunities with service provision

We want to link educational opportunities with service provision and adopt working methods of the whole of the team by:

  • improving primary care skills with Bangor University
  • developing Tier 2 referral pathways
  • providing opportunities for dentists with special interest
  • increasing research opportunities
  • cascading education and learning through Peer-to-Peer training

Rooted in Welsh Government policy objectives

The North Wales Dental Academy at Bangor practice is rooted in Welsh government policy objectives:

There are a number of general principles which are to: 

  • Improve population health, oral health and well-being through a greater focus on prevention.
  • Improve access, experience and quality of dental care for individuals and families.
  • Enrich the well-being, capability and engagement of the dental workforce.
  • Increase the value achieved from funding of dental services and programmes through improvement, innovation, use of best practice, and eliminating waste.
  • Patients are empowered to protect and improve their own oral health.
  • Oral health and dental services place prevention at their core.

Why Bangor?

One of the advantages that North Wales holds for housing the dental academy is the varied geography, demographic and need profiles. Aligned with varied practitioners who have specialist interests, this offers various opportunities for teaching, shadowing, supervision and placements. This allows those attending the dental academy exposure to a wider range of practice, specialism and need profiles highlighting some of the challenges in the profession, but also within the North Wales geography. 

There is a gap in service provision in the West of the BCUHB area, following the loss of practices in Bangor, Menai Bridge and Porthmadog. There are also limited NHS dental places available on the Llyn Peninsula. In order to partly address this, the dental academy will be located centrally within Bangor and near transport facilities (bus/train). The site will house the General Dental Services (GDS) practice which will support the dental academy provision providing space for trainees to be able to learn and be supervised as they practice. On the same site, or close by will be a facility with a ‘phantom head’ hands off training facility, lecture space and study/breakout spaces. Due to the historic lack of provision in the area, and the deprivation profile of Bangor and the surrounding area, there will be high interest in registering at this practice, with high needs of patients who will need to be made orally fit and stable. As such, the practice will be managed carefully with oversight to ensure that patients are treated and availability for new patients is maintained. The focus will be on access sessions, as well as general dental provision.


Re-watch the Virtual Bidders Event – Jan 2021

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is looking for innovative dental professionals to take part in an upcoming procurement which will involve establishing a new North Wales Dental Academy in conjunction with the commissioning of General Dental Services on a PDS contract in Bangor, North Wales. The procurement is part of wide ranging plans to increase access to dentistry services and improve recruitment and retention across the region, working in conjunction with BCUHB, Welsh Government, HEIW and Bangor University. Hear from Peter Greensmith (Project Director at BCUHB), Chris Stockport (BCUHB Executive Director, Primary & Community Care), Paul Brocklehurst (Deputy Chief Dental Officer Welsh Government), Adrian Thorp (Health Education & Improvement Wales), Chris Woods (Bangor University). The presentation starts at 8:47mins in.