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Dental Services

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists operating under (a) general dental services contracts and (b) personal dental services agreements left the NHS in each year since 1997-98; and what percentage these figures represent of the number of dentists in the NHS (i) in total and (ii) in each strategic health authority area. (137275)

The latest information available is set out in the following tables. Information is not available broken down by general dental services and personal dental services and could be provided in that format only at disproportionate cost.

General dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS): Number of complete leavers, and as a percentage of total dentists, in England by strategic health authority (SHA) area as at 31 March each year

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

England

915

5

956

5

1,033

6

1,208

7

1,191

6

Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire

50

6

40

5

56

6

58

6

69

7

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

39

6

34

5

39

5

34

5

39

5

Birmingham and the Black Country

25

4

38

5

33

5

48

6

33

4

Cheshire and Merseyside

38

4

48

5

45

5

44

5

57

6

County Durham and Tees Valley

16

4

20

5

19

5

20

5

19

5

Cumbria and Lancashire

31

5

28

4

33

5

49

7

25

4

Dorset and Somerset

20

5

17

4

30

7

23

5

33

7

Essex

27

5

32

6

31

5

52

9

50

9

Greater Manchester

51

6

39

4

52

6

45

5

43

5

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

26

4

31

5

33

5

50

7

43

6

Kent and Medway

51

9

54

9

50

8

51

8

45

7

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland

20

5

22

5

17

4

41

9

28

6

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

43

6

38

5

49

6

50

6

37

5

North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire

26

5

24

5

28

5

26

5

23

4

North Central London

44

7

59

9

43

6

56

8

70

10

North East London

30

5

41

7

31

5

38

6

43

7

North West London

38

4

60

6

72

6

86

8

77

7

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

24

5

30

6

34

7

30

6

29

6

Shropshire and Staffordshire

22

5

17

4

13

3

18

4

25

5

South East London

41

7

47

7

40

6

53

8

60

9

South West London

39

6

44

7

45

7

63

9

46

7

South West Peninsula

33

6

37

6

42

7

40

6

56

8

South Yorkshire

12

3

15

3

11

2

25

5

25

5

Surrey and Sussex

63

6

58

5

63

5

78

6

74

6

Thames Valley

48

6

36

4

46

5

48

5

53

6

Trent

39

5

40

5

54

6

51

6

53

6

West Midlands South

17

3

25

5

23

4

35

6

35

6

West Yorkshire

24

3

31

4

34

5

31

4

38

5

2003200420052006

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

Complete leavers

% of total dentists

England

1,233

7

1,270

7

1,163

6

1,088

5

Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire

81

9

54

6

55

6

58

6

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

57

8

52

7

33

4

32

4

Birmingham and the Black Country

28

3

28

3

36

4

38

4

Cheshire and Merseyside

50

5

45

5

55

6

50

5

County Durham and Tees Valley

17

4

12

3

25

6

17

4

Cumbria and Lancashire

41

6

38

6

26

4

23

3

Dorset and Somerset

33

7

42

8

41

8

35

6

Essex

35

6

43

7

35

6

36

5

Greater Manchester

47

5

46

5

48

5

34

3

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

46

7

62

9

43

6

48

6

Kent and Medway

51

8

49

8

62

10

45

7

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland

18

4

20

4

23

4

27

5

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

62

8

51

6

62

7

62

7

North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire

19

3

39

7

31

5

35

5

North Central London

58

8

52

7

39

5

31

4

North East London

34

6

36

6

38

6

27

4

North West London

91

9

67

6

55

5

69

6

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

33

6

37

7

34

6

35

6

Shropshire and Staffordshire

19

4

36

7

22

4

16

3

South East London

37

6

51

8

50

7

30

4

South West London

62

9

68

10

43

6

34

5

South West Peninsula

59

9

61

9

53

7

47

6

South Yorkshire

24

5

29

6

23

5

29

6

Surrey and Sussex

91

7

95

7

102

7

82

6

Thames Valley

52

5

62

6

50

5

53

5

Trent

54

6

54

6

50

5

41

4

West Midlands South

29

5

26

4

30

4

28

4

West Yorkshire

42

5

49

6

32

4

42

5

Notes:

1. Complete leaver means the dentist had an open GDS or PDS contract in March of the previous year but no GDS or PDS contract in March of the specified year.

2. Percentages are calculated on the number of dentists with an open GDS or PDS contract as at 31 March in the specified year.

3. The dentist numbers include principals, assistants and trainees. Prison contracts are excluded.

4. A dentist may have a contract in more than one SHA area. Therefore, data at SHA area may include duplications of dentists leaving. England data exclude duplication.

5. The postcode of the dental practice was used to allocate dentists to specific geographic areas. SHA areas have been defined using the Office for National Statistics all fields postcode directory.

6. The numbers of leavers include all notifications, received by the dental practice board, up to 11 May 2006.

7. SHA boundaries as at 31 March 2006.

Sources:

The Information Centre for health and social care.

NHS BSA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in which strategic health authorities distance targets for access to NHS dentistry have been implemented by primary care trusts for (a) routine and (b) emergency treatment; and what distance target has been set by each. (138261)

This information is not available centrally. Primary care trusts are responsible for commissioning services to reflect local needs and for deciding what indicators or standards to use to monitor access to services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which primary care trusts are operating waiting lists for patients seeking to access primary dental care. (138263)

This information is not held centrally. It is for primary care trusts to make local arrangements to support patients in accessing national health service dental services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment her Department has made of levels of demand for NHS primary dental care. (138264)

It is for primary care trusts to assess locally the level of need and demand for national health services primary dental care. The most recent estimate undertaken by the Department suggested that, in any given two-year period, it is likely that some 60 per cent. or so of the population will seek to access NHS dental services. This estimate took into account levels of patient registrations in the early 1990s, when adult registrations lasted for two years and when there were no significant reported difficulties of access to services. The most recent data show that around 56 per cent. of the population accessed NHS dental services in the two-year period ending December 2006, the same proportion as in the two-year period ending March 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the new General Dental Services contract on (a) access to services, (b) quality of care, (c) oral health and (d) the patient experience. (138265)

The Department will be publishing a report later in the summer, assessing the first 12 months of the new arrangements for local commissioning of dental services and the new contractual arrangements. The most recent data show that the proportion of the population accessing national health service dental services in the two-year period ending December 2006 is the same as in the two-year period immediately preceding the reforms. This suggests that access has remained broadly stable during the transition to the new arrangements. The evidence also so far indicates that the NHS is commissioning a steadily increasing volume of NHS dental services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what methodology her Department uses for assessing levels of patient access to primary care dental services. (138273)

The Department monitors the numbers of patients who receive national health service care or treatment from a dentist one or more times during a 24 month period. The latest data are contained in ‘NHS Dental Statistics for England Quarter 3: 31 December 2006’ which is available in the Library. It is for primary care trusts to decide locally what other indicators or standards they wish to use to monitor access to services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many units of dental activity have been allocated to (a) England and Wales and (b) Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust in financial year (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; (138921)

(2) how many units of dental activity are available to dentists in each primary care trust in England;

(3) what the average number of units of dental activity available per head of population is in (a) England and (b) Milton Keynes.

[holding answers 23 May 2007]: Information is not available in the form requested. Information is available on the level of service commissioned.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) commission dental services from local dental providers. Information is collected centrally on the number of contracts each PCT holds and the units of dental activity (UDAs) these represent. UDAs are a way of measuring and giving relative weight to the course of treatments given to patients. The latest information showing the total number of UDAs commissioned as at 31 March 2007 by PCT is provided in a table which has been placed in the Library. Information is available for England only, and is available at:

www.performance.doh.gov.uk/dental_contracts/index.htm

The annualised number of UDAs commissioned expressed per head of population is 1.55 at England level and 1.36 for Milton Keynes PCT. The latest available population data are as at 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the (a) maximum, (b) minimum and (c) average value of a unit of dental activity is in England; (138922)

(2) what the value of a unit of dental activity is in each dental practice in Milton Keynes.

[holding answers 23 May 2007]: Data collected by the Department centrally do not identify the value of units of dental activity (UDAs) or provide a basis for comparisons of UDA values between primary care trusts (PCTs) or dental practices. PCTs set contract values and service level requirements locally. UDA values will vary because of a number of factors, including differences in treatment patterns and treatment needs in different areas, the contract values negotiated locally by PCTs and dental practices, and the degree to which PCTs and practices may have agreed service outputs that cannot be measured through patient courses of treatment.