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Dentistry

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dental practices undertake National Health Service treatment in England for (a) adults and (b) children; and how many undertook such work in each category in 1998. (94167)

The table shows the number of dental practice postcodes in England where payments for NHS dental treatment were claimed between 1 January and 31 December each year.

Adults only

Children only

Adults and children

Total

1998

154

74

8,013

8,241

2005

169

136

8,355

8,660

Notes:

1. Data are for claims scheduled in the specified calendar years in both General Dental Services (CDS) and Personal Dental Services (PDS).

2. Children are defined as patients under 18 years on the date of acceptance for treatment.

3. There may be more than one practice at a postcode.

4. Data include notifications up to 12 October 2006.

Source:

The Information Centre for health and social care NHS Business Services Authority (BSA)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists have ceased to work for the National Health Service since the new contract came into force; and if she will make a statement. (94176)

The numbers of primary care dentists on open national health service (NHS) contracts are collected and published quarterly. The latest information shows that there were 19,462 dentists (performers) on open NHS contracts as at 30 June 2006 in England.

The final workforce information under the old contractual arrangements (as at 31 March 2006) showed that there were 21,111 dentists on open NHS contracts in England.

This comparison does not provide a reliable guide to the level of NHS dental services available. This depends not only on numbers of dentists but also, more importantly, on the amount of NHS work that they carry out. The aforementioned figures are consistent with the Department's estimate that around one in 10 dentists chose not to take up new NHS contracts from 1 April 2006, but management information indicates that these dentists carried out only around 4 per cent. of NHS dental services. Since 1 April 2006, primary care trusts have commissioned significant additional levels of NHS dentistry, more than making up for the 4 per cent. of services associated with dentists who did not take up new contracts.

Further information is available in reports published by The Information Centre for health and social care.

Statistical information on the new contracts (quarter 1, June 2006) is available at:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dentalstatsq2o6.

Historical statistical information on the former General Dental Services contract and Personal Dental Services pilots is available at:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dwfactivity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) NHS dentist training places and (b) dentists there were in each of the last 20 years. (93835)

The number of undergraduates admitted to dental schools varies depending upon the number of students who meet the entry criteria offered to them by the school. The table shows the number of home and European dental students admitted to English dental schools and the number of general dental services (CDS) and personal dental services (PDS) dentists in England, as at 30 September each year.

Students admitted to dental schools

Number of dentists

1986

620

14,516

1987

621

14,765

1988

612

15,070

1989

585

15,351

1990

556

15,401

1991

580

15,433

1992

606

15,391

1993

638

15,765

1994

664

15,876

1995

627

15,944

1996

685

16,320

1997

631

16,670

1998

603

17,199

1999

600

17,755

2000

623

18,167

2001

626

18,722

2002

665

18,946

2003

672

19,260

2004

670

19,722

2005

848

20,890

Notes:

1. Information regarding the numbers of dentists was provided by The Information Centre for health and social care and NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).

2. Dentists consist of principals, assistants and trainees. Information on NHS dentistry in the community dental services, in prisons or in hospitals is not included. Dental services provided privately are also excluded from the data.

3. Figures for the numbers of dentists at specified dates may vary depending on the date the figures are compiled. This is because the NHS BSA may be notified of joiners or leavers to or from the GDS or PDS up to several months, or more, after the move has taken place. Information is up to date as at 13 October 2006.

4. Numbers are based on national health service dentists on primary care trust (PCT) lists. Under the previous system of GDS (prior to 1 April 2006), a dentist could provide as much or as little NHS treatment as he or she chose. Since 1 April 2006, the level of dentistry provided depends on the contract with the PCT. In some cases, an NHS dentist may appear on a PCT list but not perform any NHS work in that period. Most NHS dentists do some private work. These data do not take into account the proportion of NHS work undertaken by dentists.

5. PDS dentistry started in October 1998.