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Dental Services: Greater London

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the NHS dentist to patient ratio was in the (a) London Strategic Health Authority and (b) Enfield Primary Care Trust area in each year between 1997 and 2008; (242273)

(2) how many NHS dentists there were per 100,000 people in the (a) London Strategic Health Authority and (b) Enfield Primary Care Trust area in each year between 1997 and 2008.

Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of persons per national health service dentist in England, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex F 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.

This measure is not available under the new contractual arrangements.

The number of dentists with NHS activity per 100,000 population, 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. This measure is not available under the old contractual arrangements.

Following a recent consultation exercise, the count of dentists 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 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.