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NHS Data

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what duty is placed on primary care trusts to ensure that data submitted to the website www.nhs.uk regarding (a) dentists accepting NHS patients and (b) other information are kept up to date; how often these data are updated; and whether NHS Direct actively monitors these data to ensure their accuracy. (64183)

It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to decide how most effectively to provide information to the public and to agree any local arrangements with nhs.uk and NHS Direct.

NHS Direct holds some information on the open and closed status of dental practices but the accuracy of the information is dependent on dentists notifying PCTs of any changes, and PCTs updating the information on nhs.uk.

As a result of feedback from user groups, and following the introduction of the local commissioning of national health service dentistry in April 2006, the information held by nhs.uk (and by extension NHS Direct, as they use the same database) is currently being updated by PCT web editors. Additional information, including best possible information on how patients can get routine, urgent in-hours and urgent out-of-hours care or advice is being added by PCTs to the new format site. The expected date for these changes to go live on nhs.uk is the last week of June 2006.