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Dental Health: Children

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the health of the teeth of schoolchildren since Gateway Approval (ref 769800) was issued and the practice of negative permission was discontinued; and if he will make a statement. (156699)

We are in no doubt that positive consent is required for school dental inspections. The first epidemiology programme since the issue of our guidance on discontinuing negative positive consent will be the five-year-old children's dental health survey to be conducted in England in 2007-08. The North West Dental Public Health Observatory is managing the survey on behalf of the other regional observatories and will assess the impact use of positive consent has on the results. In addition, the oral health unit within the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre at Manchester university, funded by the Department, is undertaking a randomised controlled trial to identify the most effective way of improving consent for national health service epidemiological surveys.