Skip to main content

Dental Services: Standards

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in (a) England and (b) each primary care trust area have been required to pay back money to their primary care trust because they could not complete the number of units of dental activity required by their NHS contracts. (157994)

Providers of national health service dental services have contracts with primary care trusts (PCTs) that set out the agreed annual contract sum and the corresponding level of services to be provided over the course of the year. These annual service levels are expressed mainly in terms of units of dental activity, which measure courses of treatment according to their relative complexity. Dental providers who under-deliver by up to 4 per cent. may carry this forward and make up the activity in the following year. Where a provider has delivered less than 96 per cent. of the agreed annual service level, it is at the PCT’s discretion whether the undelivered activity is carried forward to the following year or an appropriate proportion of the annual contract sum is refunded to the PCT. This is a matter for PCTs to decide locally in the light of individual circumstances, and their decisions are not collected or held centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in (a) England and (b) each primary care trust area have completed (i) 96 per cent. and (ii) 100 per cent. of the number of units of dental activity in their NHS contracts. (158007)

Information is not available in the form requested.

Information on the total units of dental activity delivered in 2006-07 at England, strategic health authority (SHA) and primary care trust (PCT) level is contained in “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”. This report is available in the Library.

The Dental Services Division (DSD) of the NHS Business Services Authority holds data on dental activity provided under national health service dental contracts, together with information provided by PCTs on the levels of activity commissioned for each contract. However, the DSD does not routinely publish these data. Following a freedom of information request, the DSD expect to make a comparison of the two data items for 2006-07 available by the end of this month. This will provide information by contract broken down by SHA area. This information will be placed in the Library once available.