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Nhs Dentistry

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practices in each primary care trust are accepting new patients for treatment on the NHS who are (a) elderly, (b) children, (c) unemployed and (d) disabled. [126323]

The number of dental practices accepting new patients for National Health Service treatment who are elderly, unemployed and disabled is not held centrally.Children are exempt from dental charges and many unemployed, elderly and disabled people are eligible for full or partial remission of charges.Information on the number of general dental service (GDS) practices and personal dental service (PDS) pilots in each primary care trust (PCT) reported at 21 July 2003 on the website as accepting patients exempt from dental charges for registration and accepting children for registration has been placed in the Library.In addition, other practices, including PDS pilots, among them, dental access centres, will be providing NHS dental care to patients without registration.When a GDS or PDS dentist accepts a patient for registration they have an obligation to provide NHS dental treatment as required to secure and maintain the oral health of that patient.