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Dental Services

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) dental surgeries and (b) dental surgeries per head of population in England in (i) hamlets and isolated dwellings, (ii) villages, (iii) towns and fringe settlements and (iv) settlements of more than 10,000 inhabitants in each year since 1997. (243174)

Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of NHS dental practices in England as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Table 7 of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006” report. 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 available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

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

To provide validated information on dental practices under the new contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Information on the number of dental surgeries per population is not available. However, information is available on the number of persons per NHS dentist (as multiple dentists may work in the same practice).

The number of persons per NHS dentist in England as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex F of the above publication. Information is available by strategic health authority (SHA) and primary care trust (PCT).

This measure, based on the old contractual arrangements, relates to the number of NHS dentists recorded on PCT lists as at 31 March each year.

Information on population per NHS dentist and NHS dentists 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. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements. This report, published on 21 August 2008, has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

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

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.

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.