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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
The third phase of the Welsh Government’s pioneering Strategy for Older People in Wales has been launched.
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Dental Contract Review – Consultation Report
At the end of last year I announced a review of the dental contract and the establishment of a task and finish group to look at a range of issues to improve the way in which the contract works. The review group completed its work in July and submitted its report. It concluded that the dental contract is broadly a workable system, and one that, with amendment, can be further improved. It was useful for me to see precisely where dentists, local health boards and patients consider improvements can be made to the contract. On the basis of its analysis, the group made 23 recommendations designed to increase the effectiveness of the contract and deliver improvements in oral health. I made a statement at the time in which I said that the group’s recommendations deserved the widest possible consideration. As indicated at that time, the report has been distributed to every dental practitioner in Wales providing a NHS service, inviting comments on its proposals. Copies of the review group’s report were also made available to Assembly Members.
Consultation on the report’s recommendations went on over the summer and closed at the end of September. I am pleased with the level of response. In total, there were 162 replies to the consultation questionnaire from right across Wales, with dental practitioners in every local health board area responding. Copies of the summary of the consultation responses will be made available to Assembly Members and placed on the Welsh Assembly Government website for more general consideration.
There was clear overall agreement with the general findings of the group’s report, and well over 60 per cent of those who responded agreed or strongly agreed with its conclusion that the current contract was workable, subject to the recommended changes. Some of the group’s specific recommendations met with universal support. In particular, there was universal support for the wish to allow dental practitioners to introduce a discretionary charge for patients who fail to attend appointments, and ensuring annual growth of LHB primary dental care funding allocations. There was also strong support for national guidance on the termination and transfer of dental contracts, and the need for help in the upgrade of dental surgery equipment to meet new statutory requirements.
The current review of units of dental activity as the sole contract currency was also seen as a key area. There is a sub group of the main review that continues to work on these complex issues, and I look forward to seeing its final report and implementation proposals.
I asked Professor Wayne Richards, as chairman, to reconvene the task and finish group to review the consultation responses and produce a further report for my consideration. The review group met on 4 November and it will shortly provide additional advice to me on its findings. Taking into account the views of those responding to the consultation, I have asked the group to consider the need to prioritise the recommendations, and to also identify any areas that responders felt were not adequately addressed in the initial review. Once I have received the review group’s report from Professor Richards, I will be in a position to consider an official response and to indicate how I wish to take forward the proposed changes.
Linked to the work of the dental contract review group is a need to lay the ground for consolidating and strengthening the community dental service as part of our 'One Wales’ commitment to refocus provision of dental services to provide a new emphasis on public health. Through the review process, I received a report during the summer on the future role and structure of the CDS that made several recommendations about the operation of the service. Some of these will need to be looked at in the context of the wider restructuring of the NHS in Wales. However, the report also recommended revised guidance on the role of the CDS and for the care of the vulnerable in society, including children from deprived areas and people with special needs. This guidance was published at the end of October and it will strengthen provision of dental services for those most in need and support the development of the CDS.
The CDS is also delivering the national child oral health improvement programme, Designed to Smile, which is at the centre of the national oral health action plan for Wales. I am pleased to announce that the first phase of the Designed to Smile programme commenced last month, and it is already providing tooth-brushing programmes in well over 100 schools. This programme will be rolled out steadily across the two superpilot areas covering north Wales, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan areas. A number of schools in Swansea are also participating in the programme.
While the review of the dental contract and the subsequent consultation on its findings clearly shows that the dental profession wants to work with the current system, there is still much to do. While we have stabilised NHS dentistry in Wales and built foundations for the future, we now need to ensure that the dental contract is working as well as it possibly can and is delivering benefits to the public and those working in the dental profession.