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Dentists

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists take patients in the (a) private sector, (b) public sector and (c) public and private sector in (i) England and (ii) the Durham constituency. [119091]

At 12 June 2003, three general dental service (GDS) practices in the Durham constituency area were recorded on the www.nhs.uk website as accepting all categories of National Health Service patients for registration. In England, the total number of GDS practices accepting new patients was 4,917.NHS dental services are also available to patients who are not registered with a dentist, from GDS dentists providing treatment under the occasional treatment arrangements, from community dental services, personal dental services pilots and from hospitals.Information on dentists accepting new patients for private treatment only is not collected centrally. It is estimated that fewer than five per cent. of dental practices offer no NHS treatment at all.General dental practitioners are independent contractors and free to choose the proportion of NHS or private dentistry they provide in their practices. Most dentists choose to treat a combination of NHS and private patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients were registered with a dentist in each of the last five years in (a) England and (b) the City of Durham. [119093]

Information is not collected by cities. The information in the table shows the number of patients registered with a general dental service (CDS) dentist at 30 September for the years 1998 to 2002 for England, for the years 1998–2001 for Durham County Health Authority and for 2002, for Durham and Chester-le-Street Primary Care Trust. The City of Durham falls within these organisations.

General Dental Service: Number of patients registered with a CDS dentist—1998 to 2002
Thousands
At 30 SeptemberNumber of patients registered
England
199823,497
199923,470
200023,658
200123,577
200223,471
Durham County Health Authority
1998304
1999301
2000307
2001305
General Dental Service: Number of patients registered with a CDS dentist—1998 to 2002
Thousands
At 30 SeptemberNumber of patients registered
Durham and Chester-le-Street Primary Care Trust
200263
Registrations lapse if patients do not return to their dentist within 15 months and so the registration figures exclude patients who have not been to their GDS dentist within the past 15 months. Many people choose not to register with a GDS dentist and seek only to visit a dentist when they require treatment.