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NHS: Dental Services

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were on a (a) full-time equivalent and (b) headcount basis in (i) Peterborough, (ii) Cambridgeshire and (iii) the East of England in each of the last five years. (232361)

The number of national health service dentists from 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex E of the report “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”. Information is available by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). Annex G of the report contains information by constituency.

This measure counted the number of NHS dentists recorded on PCT lists at 31 March each year. The information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the website of the Information Centre for health and social care at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dwfactivity

The number of dentists with national health service activity during the years ending 31 March 2007 and 2008 is available in Table G1 of Annex 3 of the report “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08”. Information is provided by SHA and by PCT but is not available by constituency. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements introduced on 1 April 2006.

Following a recent consultation exercise, this measure is based on a revised methodology and therefore supersedes previously published workforce figures relating to the new dental contractual arrangements. It is not comparable to the information collected under the old contractual arrangements. The revised methodology counted the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded via FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the Information Centre website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0708

Further work is planned over the next 12 months to determine whether the definition used under the new dental contractual arrangements can be applied to the years under the old contractual arrangements to produce a consistent time series.

Both sets of published figures relate to 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.

Information on full-time equivalent dentists are not available. However, information on dentists’ average weekly hours and weekly NHS hours is available in the report “Dental Working Hours, England and Wales 2006-07 and 2007-08”. This report has been placed in the Library and is also available on the Information Centre website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dentalworkinghours0708

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