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27 October 2008
Wales’ dentists of the future are to benefit from a revamped training facility officially opened today by First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan.
Newly modernised teaching and administrative facilities at the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education will bring together staff and students within the dental section on one site for the first time.
The refurbished Dental Annexe has converted it from disused dental clinics into 25 work stations for full and part-time tutoring and administrative staff. It also consists of two private offices, a small meeting/interview room and a large teaching/meeting room.
Welcoming the new facility, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "This is an important development for the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education. The expansion in the student intake in the dental school, from 55 a few years ago to 64 today to 75 in 2010, a 33% increase, has to be backed up by growth in continuing dental education in Wales.
"When the new Cynon Valley Community Hospital opens in a couple of years, it will include a £10 million Dental Primary Care Centre linked to the Dental School at UHW, so that our dentistry students can be educated to do outreach work in communities, where there are many challenges in oral health. That is why I believe this is the most exciting period yet for oral health in Wales."
Mr Eric Nash, Director for Postgraduate Dental Education in Wales, said: "As a result of year-on-year expansion in funding and educational responsibilities for the School, we now have capacity to deliver pre and post Registration education for Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) throughout Wales".
"Additional teaching space for up to 24 students will mean we can better provide for the delivery of Postgraduate Education for Dentists and Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) and with all staff now based in the Annexe, our students will benefit greatly by having much closer and better links with them".
The Dental Section of the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education is funded to deliver Continual Professional Development courses for dentists and dental care professionals throughout Wales. It also manages and delivers all Welsh Dental Foundation Training Schemes. Since 2004 the Dental Section of the School has secured an additional £2.5 million of Welsh Assembly Government funding annually for the provision and delivery of continuing education for dentists.
The Dental Section also delivers a Higher Certificate in Dental Nursing (CertHE). This is the first part-time course of its type to be offered in the whole of the UK. Although the teaching will be offsite, key staff and the administrative function will be delivered from this new home in the Dental Annexe.
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