HC Deb 20 October 1949 vol 468 cc730-1
9. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Education whether he has considered the resolution, unanimously adopted by the Representative Board of the British Dental Association, a copy of which has been sent to him, criticising his Department for failure to provide adequate facilities for treatment of oral sepsis among school children; and what improvements he is making in consequence.

13. Mr. Piratin

asked the Minister of Education whether, following the formation of a Dental Whitley Council, any decision has been reached concerning the salaries of school dentists.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

The School Dental Service has been affected by difficulties over the salaries of dentists employed by local authorities. Negotiations are proceeding with a view to the formation of a Dental Whitley Council, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health and I are hopeful that agreement will soon be reached on its formation. Once this is done, I hope that, with the prospect in view of a salaries settlement, the School Dental Service will be restored to its former efficiency.

Sir J. Mellor

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the present proportion of school dentists to school children?

Mr. Tomlinson

No, Sir, not without notice.

Sir J. Mellor

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is tending to improve or to deteriorate at the present time?

Mr. Tomlinson

If the hon. Member will put down a Question, I will let him have the figures.

Mr. Piratin

Is it not the case that the Dental Whitley Council has been formed, has already met, and has not yet arrived at a decision?

Mr. Fernyhough

Will my right hon. Friend consider tying school dentists to their jobs in the same way as miners and agricultural workers are tied to theirs?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Scotland the proportion of dental officers to children is one to 7,800 and can he say whether the figure would be about the same in England?

Mr. Tomlinson

I should not think so. As the hon and gallant Gentleman knows, my writ does not run in Scotland, and I am hesitant about quoting comparative figures.

12. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Education, what is the establishment for school dental officers within the northwest Middlesex educational area; and what is its actual strength.

Mr. Tomlinson

The Authority's proposed establishment for this area is nine full-time officers. At present there is the equivalent of two and a half such officers.

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