The new contractual arrangements do not specify any minimum number of units of dental activity for children. Under the new contracts, dentists are required to provide the care and treatment that they judge clinically necessary and that the patient or, in the case of children, the parent or carer agrees to have provided. Dentists are also required to take into account the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidelines in recommending the interval at which a patient should return for a further examination and assessment, having completed a course of treatment.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) did not receive primary care dental allocations in 2005-06. The bulk of primary dental care continued to be provided through the centrally funded general dental services, with spending levels determined primarily by where dentists chose to practise and how much NHS work they chose to undertake. PCTs assumed full responsibility for local commissioning of primary care dentistry and received devolved budgets with effect from 1 April 2006. PCTs’ 2006-07 primary care dental allocations reflected levels of dental activity in each PCT area during the 12-month reference period October 2004 to September 2005, together with adjustments for contracts that opened during the reference period, funding plans agreed between PCTs and the Department for expanding personal dental services pilots or establishing new services, and upratings to 2006-07 prices.
The resources allocated to PCTs assumed overall gross expenditure (including income from dental patient charges) of around £2.4 billion, compared with gross expenditure of around £2.2 billion nationally in 2005-06.
The information is not available in the form requested. Under the new dental system, which came into effect from 1 April 2006, information is available on the number of patients who receive care or treatment from a national health service dentist in the most recent 24-month period. The Information Centre for Health and Social Care publishes this information, known as patients seen, each quarter. This is not yet available broken down into adult and child categories but is expected to be available in this format later this year.
The latest information available covering the 24-month periods ending March, June and September 2006 is set out by primary care trust in the table which has been placed in the Library. It is also available in the NHS Dental Statistics for England Quarter Two: 30 September 2006 publication at:
Welsh data are available from the Welsh Assembly Government.