HL Deb 24 July 1957 vol 205 cc100-2

3.27 p.m.


My Lords, I rise to move that these regulations, reported from the Special Orders Committee on July 10, be approved Since the Dentists Act. 1921, it has been illegal for persons other than dentists to practise dentistry in general practice. Since then, however, experience abroad, and also in this country, and especially in the Armed Forces during the course of the recent war, has shown that the dental service can be greatly helped by the use of ancillary workers trained to undertake minor dental work of various kinds. After the Inter-Departmental Committee on Dentistry, which was presided over by my noble friend Lord Teviot, had reported in 1944, the Government set up a training scheme for dental hygienists, and in the light of the experience gained through this scheme the Dentists Act, which passed through your Lordships' House last year, empowered the General Dental Council to make regulations setting out the qualifications and duties of various classes of ancillary dental workers. That is the purpose of these regulations.

They provide that qualified dental hygienists may be permitted to carry out dental work of certain kinds, principally cleaning and polishing teeth; and, in addition, contain provisions for the enrolment of these workers on a special Roll; training and qualification; and the removal of names from the Roll for disciplinary reasons. In case it should become desirable later to set up other classes of ancillary dental workers, the parts of the regulations relating to enrolment, training and the like are so drafted as to apply to any class of ancillary worker which may be established by further regulations. I think it will generally be agreed that these draft regulations give effect to the wishes of Parliament as shown in the Dentists Act, 1956, and will contribute greatly to the health of the people's teeth. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Draft Ancillary Dental Workers Regulations, 1957, reported from the Special Orders Committee on the 10th of July, be approved.—(Lord Strathclyde.)


My Lords, speaking as a doctor with experience of school dentistry, I just want to say that the original regulations came into operation a good many years ago, and I feel that the present changes will be a great addition and an advantage to the general population. As I think we all do. I heartily support the regulations.


I thank the noble Lord for his support.

On Question, Motion agreed to.