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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many dentists signed the NHS General Dental Services contract in dispute, broken down by primary care trust; (64983)

(2) how many dentists have signed the new NHS dental contract in England; and how many of those have done so in dispute, broken down by primary care trust.

Information on the number of dentists who have signed the new contract and the number who have signed in dispute is not available centrally.

Provisional management estimates on the number of signed contracts and, of these, the number signed in dispute has been placed in the Library. A contract may be for either a practice or an individual dentist.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists have left the NHS in Trent Strategic Health Authority in the last 12 months, broken down by parliamentary constituency. (69779)

At 31 March 2006, there were 1,005 dentists in the Trent Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area. The table shows the numbers of national health service dentists who have retired or otherwise left the general dental services (GDS) or personal dental services (PDS) in Trent SHA by parliamentary constituency during the 12 months ending 30 September 2005.


Trent SHA


Amber Valley








Boston and Skegness






Derby North


Derby South








Grantham and Stamford


High Peak




Louth and Horncastle






North East Derbyshire


Nottingham East


Nottingham North


Nottingham South






Sleaford and North Hykeham


South Derbyshire


South Holland and The Deepings


West Derbyshire



1. The latest available data cover the 12 months to 30 September 2005.

2. Leavers indicate that the dentist had an open GDS or PDS contract as at 30 September 2004 but no GDS or PDS contract as at 30 September 2005.

3. A dentist may have left a GDS or PDS contract within more than one parliamentary constituency within Trent SHA, in which case they would appear in figures for each individual constituency.

4. Data include all notifications of dentists leaving the GDS or PDS, received by the NHS Business Services Authority, up to 8 November 2005. Figures for the numbers of dentists at specified dates may vary depending upon the notification period, e.g. data with a later notification period will include more recent notifications of dentists leaving the GDS or PDS.

5. A dentist with a GDS or PDS contract may provide as little or as much NHS treatment as he or she chooses or has agreed with the primary care trust. Information concerning the amount of time dedicated to NHS work by individual GDS or PDS dentists are not centrally available.

6. Dentists consist of principals, assistants and trainees. Prison contracts have been excluded.

7. Data on dentists that work only in private practice are not held centrally.


NHS Business Services Authority

The Information Centre for health and social care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 206W, on dentistry, why the Department has stopped collecting information relating to the number of dentists accepting new patients in Chesterfield since 4 April 2005. (73214)

The Department has not collected data on the number of dentists accepting new patients. The Department has in the past asked primary care trusts (PCTs) to provide information to the (web resource) and NHS Direct on which dentists are accepting new patients. The main problem with these data is that they can change at a rapid pace and therefore may not be reliable, thus making them limited in their practical use. That is why the Department has given PCTs more flexibility in deciding how they most effectively inform the local public about access to dental services. The implementation review group, which includes patient representatives, dentists and national health service organisations, has been set up to monitor the NHS dental reforms; as part of this they will be assessing the level of information that is on the website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what reasons a transitory maternity pay arrangement was not put in place for dentists who were pregnant but not yet on maternity leave in April 2006; (75316)

(2) what representations she received prior to the introduction of the new dental contract in April 2006 requesting a transitory arrangement for dentists who became pregnant while the former general dental services contract was operational.

In England, we made transitional provisions for parental leave payments equal to the general dental services payments paid immediately before 1 April 2006 and pensionable earnings for leave periods which commenced after 1 April 2006. These are a minimum and primary care trusts may use their powers of assistance and support, under new section 28Y of the national health service 1977 Act, if they deem it appropriate to pay more.

The arrangements for parental leave payments are set out in the Statement of Financial Entitlements, on which we consulted with the British Dental Association.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1558W, on dentistry, whether a dentist who was pregnant but had not started a period of maternity leave before the new dental contract was introduced on 1 April 2006 is able to claim maternity pay at the levels prescribed in the former general dental services contract. (75318)

For a dentist in England who starts a period of maternity leave after 1 April 2006, the amount to which they are entitled in respect of parental leave payments is calculated on the basis of their estimated monthly pensionable earnings immediately before the parental leave is taken.