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Dental Services: Leeds

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding he intends to allocate for the provision of NHS dental care in Leeds in each of the next three years; what plans he has to increase access to NHS dentistry in Leeds; and how many people are registered with an NHS dentist in (a) the city of Leeds and (b) West Yorkshire. (323830)

We have invested a record £2 billion in dentistry and set up a national access programme to help the national health service deliver its commitment to provide access for all who seek it by 2011.

Access to NHS dentistry is growing. The latest data show that 1,230,000 more patients accessed NHS services in the 24 months ending December 2009 than compared to the 24 months ending June 2008.

We have also accepted the recommendations made by the independent review of NHS dentistry, to further improve access and quality in the long term, and will pilot these recommendations thoroughly.

Leeds Primary Care Trust (PCT) will receive a funding allocation of £32,428,000 in 2010-11 for primary dental care services. This is net of income from dental charges paid by patients, which is retained locally to supplement the resources available for dentistry. It will be for individual PCTs to judge whether additional investment is required. As a result of lower NHS service tariff prices following the incorporation of an additional 0.5 per cent. efficiency requirement, PCTs have headroom in their general NHS 2010-11 budgets to fund additional growth in dentistry and other services according to local development priorities.

Funding allocations to PCTs for 2011-12 and 2012-13 will be finalised as part of the next Spending Review. Funding for dentistry will be included within PCT unified funding allocations from 2011-12.

Information on how many people are registered with an NHS dentist is not available in the format requested.

Under the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with an NHS dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to ‘registration' is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (‘patients seen') over a 24 month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

Information on the number of patients seen in the previous 24 months, in England, is available in Table D1 of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics, Quarter 2: 30 September 2009 report. Information is available at quarterly intervals, from 31 March 2006 to 31 December 2009 and is provided by PCT and by strategic health authority.

This report, published on 23 February 2010, has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at: