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Primary Care Trusts: Finance

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the costs borne by primary care trusts for providing dental care are taken into account in the funding provided by his Department. (163007)

[holding answer 12 November 2007]: Primary Care trusts (PCTs) assumed responsibility for commissioning all elements of primary dental care services from 1 April 2006. PCTs were awarded devolved primary dental service funding allocations from that date. Individual funding allocations were based on the level of dental activity and costs observed in each area in the 12 month period October 2004 to September 2005, with appropriate additions to absorb subsequent annual contract value upratings, previously agreed service developments, and expected changes associated with the new ways of working fostered by the new contract terms available to dentists. These allocations were planned to allow PCTs to honour the commitment to offer all serving dentists new contracts at their previous levels of national health service earnings in return for maintaining their levels of NHS commitment, and provide a stable base from which PCTs could plan the further development of dental services using the flexibilities offered by the new contract to make the most effective use of dental resources. PCTs are also free to supplement provision for dentistry from within their total NHS resources if they consider this an appropriate local priority. Based on PCTs’ initial devolved dental allocations, NHS net expenditure on primary care dental services in 2006-07, after taking account of the contribution from patient charges, was over £400 million higher than in 2003-04, an increase of 30 per cent.