Skip to main content

Dental Services: St. Albans

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much NHS funding went to providing dentistry provision in the St Albans constituency in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. (142687)

Primary care trusts (PCTs) assumed full responsibility for local commissioning of primary care dentistry and received devolved budgets with effect from 1 April 2006. A table listing the primary dental service resource allocations for 2006-07 for all PCTs in England as at 31 July 2006 is available in the Library. PCTs determine the distribution of resources within their areas. A breakdown of the primary dental service resource allocations by constituency areas is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Full year data on expenditure by PCTs on primary dental care in 2006-07 is not yet available.

Prior to April 2006, most primary dental services were provided under former general dental service (GDS) arrangements. These were demand led services where the pattern of dental expenditure was largely determined by where dentists chose to practice, and how much national health service work they chose to undertake. PCTs were not given fixed GDS funding allocations. In a number of areas, personal dental services (PDS) pilots were also established, where some former GDS dental practices and some directly managed dental services converted to locally commissioned arrangements to test new ways of working and new forms of contract remuneration. PDS pilots were funded by PCTs from supplementary allocations issued by the Department.

The following table shows the available data on expenditure on the former GDS and PDS services for the constituency of St. Albans for 2004-05 and 2005-06. The difference between gross and net expenditure is the contribution to costs from dental charges collected directly from patients.

Core GDS and PDS dental payments within St. Albans constituency, 2004-05 and 2005-06 1,2,3,4,5

£ million



Gross GDS



Gross PDS









Gross GDS and PDS



Net GDS and PDS



1 Gross GDS payments include adult fees (including item of service and continuing care payments), child fees (including item of service and capitation payments), commitment payments, seniority payments, maternity/paternity/adoptive leave payments, long term sick leave payments, continuing professional development allowances including travel hours, reimbursement of business rates, vocational training grants and clinical audit payments. The following costs are excluded from those data: employer's superannuation costs, vocational trainee salaries and NI contribution costs, clinical audit convenors, clinical audit secretarial support costs and travel expenses, and costs associated with any salaried general dental practitioners and emergency dental services. 2 PDS payment data relate to baseline payments or the agreed regular monthly payments made to PDS practices. The data cannot identify the cost of any PDS services that are directly managed by local NHS trusts, such as certain dental access centres. 3 In the immediate aftermath of dental practices converting from GDS to PDS pilots, there can be a period of overlapping expenditure as time lags in submitting GDS treatment claims can mean that clearance of GDS arrears coincides with the start of regular PDS payments. 4 Payments to dental practices are assigned to areas on the basis of practice postcode data. The practices themselves may draw patients from a wider catchment area. 5 Net payments represent the balance of payments due after taking account of NHS dental charge income collected from patients by dental practices. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care and the NHS Business Services Authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists are working in St. Albans; and how many there were in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. (142688)

Numbers of national health service dentists in regional areas in England as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 are available in the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”. Annex E contains information at strategic health authority (SHA) and primary care trust (PCT) area. Information at parliamentary constituency area is available in Annex G.

This information is based on the old contractual arrangements. Copies of the report are available in the Library and at:

Numbers of NHS dentists in regional areas in England as at 30 June, 30 September and 31 December 2006 are available in Section G of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England Q3: 31 December 2006 report.

Copies are available in the Library and at:

This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements and is not directly comparable with earlier information. Data are only available at SHA and PCT level. To provide these data at constituency level area would be at disproportionate cost. In this report, St. Albans is covered by West Hertfordshire PCT.

In both sets of figures, no account is taken of the level of service, if any, that each dentist provides.