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Dental Services: Hertfordshire

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists were operating under (a) general dental services contracts and (b) personal dental services agreements in (i) Hemel Hempstead and (ii) Hertfordshire in each year since 1997. (260081)

Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of national health service dentists, by contract type, in England as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006, are available in table 4 of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006”.

The number of NHS dentists, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 are available in annex E of the above report. Information is available by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). Annex G contains information by parliamentary constituency.

This measure counted 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 available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

Information by contract type at a regional level is not available under the old contractual arrangements.

The number of dentists with NHS activity, by contract type, during the years ending 31 March, 2007 and 2008 are available in table G2 of annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007/08” report. 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. 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:

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. This revised methodology counted the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded via FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March.

Further work is currently being undertaken 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.

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.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much NHS funding has been allocated to dentistry provision in Hemel Hempstead in each year since 2004. (260105)

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.

The former GDS arrangements were replaced with effect from 1 April 2006, when primary care trusts (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 West Hertfordshire 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. Allocations are not apportioned by individual constituencies or towns; PCTs determine the distribution of resources within their area on the basis of local needs and priorities.

Primary dental service net funding allocations for West Hertfordshire PCT

Allocation (£000)








1. The allocation figure for 2006-07 is the aggregate of the allocations made initially to the Dacorum, Hertsmere, St. Albans and Harpenden, and Watford and Three Rivers PCTs before they merged to form the West Hertfordshire PCT with effect from 1 October 2006.

2. 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.