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Dental Services: Greater Manchester

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients are registered with dentists in (a) Bolton and (b) Greater Manchester. (226269)

Under the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with a NHS dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to "registration' is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (“patients seen”) over a 24-month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

Information on the number of patients seen by an NHS dentist in England, over the previous 24-month period, is available in Table CI of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: Quarter 3: 31 December 2007” report. Information is available for the 24-month periods ending 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007, 30 June 2007, 30 September 2007 and 31 December 2007. Information is provided by strategic health authority and primary care trust (PCT).

This report, published on 5 June 2008 by the Information Centre for health and social care, has already been placed in the Library. It is available on the Information Centre for health and social care's website at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dentalstats0708q3

The Dental Services Division (DSD) of the NHS Business Services Authority has recently issued patients seen information at PCT level. However, this was for management purposes. PCTs have recently raised some issues which suggest that the way in which patients are allocated to PCTs across the various quarters needs to be reviewed. This means that sub-national information on patients seen was not included in the “Dental Statistics for England: 2007/08” report, published by the NHS Information Centre on 21 August 2008. The DSD has confirmed that this issue could have only a minimal impact on the national figures. They were therefore labelled as provisional pending the review. An update will be provided in the “Dental Statistics for England: 2008/09 Quarter 1” report in November 2008.