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Nhs Dentists

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many training places are available in 2003–04 for (a) dentists, (b) dental therapists, (c) dental hygienists and (d) dental nurses; and what the figures were in 1997–98. [112280]

Information on intake to dental schools and training commissions for professionals complementary to dentistry for 1997–98 and provisional figures for 2002–03 is shown in the table. We are committed to increasing the number of training commissions for dental therapists by 150 by 2004–05.

Dental students668696
Dental therapists3840
Dental hygienists8694
Dental nurses177228
1 Provisional

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) dentists, (b) therapists, (c) hygienists and (d) nurses work in dental practices in which NHS dentistry is available. [112281]

The number of dentists on primary care trusts' lists or employed by the national health service at 30 September 2001 is shown in the table. Dentists working in more than one dental service are included in each service, apart from dentists working in both the personal dental service (PDS) and the general dental service (GDS), who are counted in the CDS only.

NHS Dental Services: Number of dentists at 30 September 2001 in England
General dental services18,354
Salaried service of GDS86
Personal dental services467
Community dental service1,348
Hospital dental services2,184
It is estimated that 380 therapists were registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) in England in 2001, of whom 350 have been employed as therapists. It is not possible to determine the proportion of therapists currently performing NHS treatment.It is estimated that 3,400 dental hygienists were registered with the GDC in England in 2001 and that 89 per cent, of these were actually working as hygienists. It is not currently possible to determine what proportion of these hygienists undertake NHS work.There are around 27,000 dental nurses at present in the United Kingdom. However, registration is not compulsory and it is not possible to confirm this figure or to determine what proportion are working in the NHS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of training programmes to meet future levels of demand for NHS dentistry. [112282]

We are undertaking the first dental work force review since 1987 in consultation with the dental profession. We hope to publish a report later this year, together with work force planning assumptions for national health service work force development confederations and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. We are also committed to ensuring the review is regularly updated in future, to take account of policy development and change