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Dental Services: Per Capita Costs

Volume 493: debated on Monday 8 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each primary care trust has spent per capita of the population it serves on the provision of NHS dental services in each of the last five years. (278422)

The NHS Information Centre for health and social care published the following report on 26 March 2008: “NHS Expenditure for General Dental Services and Personal Dental Services: England 1997/98—2005/06”. This report has been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

The report includes information on primary dental care expenditure per population by primary care trust (PCT) for 1997-98 to 2005-06 in tables A2 and B2 of annex 3. table A2 relates to ‘gross’ expenditure and table B2 relates to ‘net’ expenditure. ‘Gross’ expenditure refers to the full cost of the payments recorded; ‘net’ expenditure reflects the cost of these payments to the NHS after the deduction of income from NHS dental charges paid by patients.

This information is based on the old contractual arrangements which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. Further notes to aid interpretation of the information are shown in the ‘Contents and Notes’ page of annex 3.

Data on primary dental care expenditure in 2006-07 and 2007-08 can be extracted from the notes of PCT accounts (accounts data for 2008-09 are not yet available) and per capita expenditure calculated. The data reflect the new contract framework for primary dental care services introduced from 1 April 2006, and incorporate additional service costs such as the employers’ superannuation contributions payable on behalf of primary care dentists. They also reflect the revised PCT structures introduced from 1 October 2006. The new data series is therefore not fully comparable with the pre-2006 data provided in the NHS Information Centre report. Information on the gross and net expenditure per capita for each primary care trust in England is set out in a table which has also been placed in the Library.

As patients may attend dentists at any locality of their choice, the level of service provision in a PCT may not be directly related to the size of its resident population.