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Dental Services: Enfield

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was provided for dental services in the Enfield Primary Care Trust area in each year between 1997 and 2008. (242272)

Prior to April 2006, most primary dental services were provided under former General Dental Service (GDS) arrangements. These were demand-led services where the pattern of dental expenditure was largely determined by where dentists chose to practice, and how much national health service work they chose to undertake. Primary care trusts (PCTs) were not given fixed GDS funding allocations, except for those situations where individual Personal Dental Service pilots were established to test alternative, local commissioning arrangements and new forms of contract remuneration.

The former GDS arrangements were replaced with effect from 1 April 2006, when the Government introduced a fundamental reform programme for primary dental care services. PCTs were given responsibility for planning and commissioning primary dental services and provided with local, devolved, dental budgets. The primary dental service funding allocations made to Enfield PCT for each of the three years since PCTs assumed full responsibility for primary dental care services are in the following table. These are net of income from dental charges paid by patients, which are retained locally to supplement the resources available for dentistry. Actual expenditure levels are determined by the pattern and type of services commissioned by each PCT. PCTs may also dedicate some of their other NHS resources to dentistry if they consider this an appropriate local priority.

Primary dental service net funding allocations for Enfield PCT

£000

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Allocation

10,131

10,690

11,836

Note:

PCTs are awarded separate funding allocations to meet the cost of any dental vocational trainees who may be placed with dental practices in their area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists were registered in the Enfield Primary Care Trust area in each year between 1997 and 2008. (242275)

The number of national health service dentists in England, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in annex E of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006” report. The information is provided by primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority (SHA).

This measure relates to the number of NHS dentists recorded on PCT lists as at 31 March each year. This information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This report, published on 23 August 2006, has already been placed in the Library and is also on the website of The Information Centre for health and social care at:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dwfactivity.

The number of dentists with NHS activity during the years ending 31 March 2007 and 2008 is available in table G1 of annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007/08” report. Information is available by SHA and by PCT. 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 work force figures relating to the new dental contractual arrangements. It is not comparable to the information collected under the old contractual arrangements. The revised methodology counts the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded via FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March. This report, published on 21 August 2008, has already been placed in the Library and is also on the website of the Information Centre for health and social care at:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0708.

Further work is planned over the next few months to determine whether the new 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.

The dentist numbers published 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.