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Dental Services

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what internal (a) research papers and (b) reports his Department has produced or commissioned on NHS dentistry in the last 12 months. (221011)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) full-time equivalent dentists on primary care NHS lists in England and (b) people not registered with an NHS dentist there are in each strategic health authority area; and what the population is within each strategic health authority area. (221698)

The information requested is not available in the format requested.

The numbers of dentists on open national health service contracts, in England, as at 31 March 2007, are available in Table El of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006/07” report. This is the latest information available.

This report has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

The numbers quoted are headcounts and do not differentiate between full-time and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others.

Under the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with an NHS dentist to receive NHS care. Instead the number of patients receiving NHS dental services, ‘patients seen’ over a 24-month period is monitored and reported regularly.

Information on the numbers of patients seen by an NHS dentist in England, in the 24-month period ending 31 December 2007, and the proportion of the population this represents is available in Tables CI and C2 respectively of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: Quarter 3: 31 December 2007” report. Information is provided by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT).

This report has already been placed in the Library and is also available at:

Both of the aforementioned reports have been published by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

The population within each SHA area is given in the following table. The figures have been rounded to follow Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) guidelines.

Mid-2006 population estimates using the ONS’ 2007 methodology (rounded to the nearest 100)


Mid-2006 population estimate

North East


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


East Midlands


West Midlands


East of England




South East Coast


South Central


South west





The sum of the SHA figures does not equal the England total due to rounding.



These are the latest ONS mid-year estimates currently available. They are the population figures used for the periods ending March, June, September and December 2007 in Table C2 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: Quarter 3: 31 December 2007” report aforementioned, but not the period ending March 2006, which also appears in that table. This is because each period is based on the latest population estimates available at the time for the respective period. Further details are contained within the footnotes. Note also that the figures in Table C2 are based on un-rounded population estimates.