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Dental Services: Fees and Charges

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the revenue from patients’ charges (a) was in the last year of the previous NHS dental contracts and (b) has been in the first year of the new contract. (187461)

A simplified system of banded national health service dental charges was introduced in 2006-07, alongside new commissioning and remuneration arrangements for NHS primary dental care services. Services were also evolving ahead of the changeover as increasing numbers of dental practices converted from the former general dental services (GDS) contract to personal dental service (PDS) pilots where remuneration was based on levels of care rather than item of service fees. However, levels of charge income reduced in PDS pilots because of the need to retain the old charge structure which was not calibrated to take account of the new ways of working stimulated by the new terms of service. This effect was particularly noticeable in 2005-06 when the number of PDS pilots reached their peak. The following table shows charge income for the four-year span 2003-04 to 2006-07 to give a perspective on these trends ahead of the adoption of the new charge structure in April 2006.

Income from NHS dental charges, England

Dental charge income (£ million)

Dental charge income as a proportion of the gross cost of primary dental care services (Percentage)














Charge income totals are compiled from NHS accounts data and represent income collected in the former GDS, PDS pilots, and from April 2006, all primary dental care services provided under the unified commissioning arrangements managed by primary care trusts.