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Dental Services

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2008, Official Report, column 946, what the evidential basis is for the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health’s statement that access to NHS dentistry has improved since the new contract was introduced. (248330)

Information on the number of patients seen in the 24 months ending March 2006, and the number of patients seen in the 24 months ending June 2008, is available in annex 3, table D1 of “NHS Dental Statistics, Q1 2008-09”. Information is available at primary care trust (PCT) level. This publication has already been placed in the Library, and is available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

These data show that there are many areas across the country where access has improved. In around 30 per cent. of PCTs the number of patients accessing national health service dental services has increased since the reforms were introduced in April 2006.

However, we recognise that more remains to be done. This is why we have appointed the independent review team chaired by Professor Jimmy Steele to help us look at what steps we can take to ensure that every person, wherever he or she lives, who actively seeks to access an NHS dentist can do so.