HL Deb 23 November 1978 vol 396 cc1088-90

3.25 p.m.

Lord WELLS-PESTELL rose to move, That the draft Ancillary Dental Workers (Amendment) Regulations 1979, laid before the House on 2nd November, be approved.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. The draft regulations propose an amendment of the Ancillary Dental Workers Regulations 1968, which were amended in 1974 and again in 1978, by changing to "dental therapists" the name of those ancillary dental workers at present known as "dental auxiliaries". In fact the only thing these regulations do is to change the name from "dental auxiliaries" to "dental therapists". This will result in minor consequential changes being made in reference to titles, certificates and the nominal roll. The draft has been prepared by the General Dental Council and the Privy Council have given their approval to it. Before the regulations are made by the Council the draft requires the approval of your Lordships' House under Section 41(9) of the Dentists Act 1957.

Although the name "dental auxiliary" is at present used in the United Kingdom to describe the ancillary dental worker who, under the direction of a qualified dentist. Undertakes certain forms of dentistry including the provision of simple fillings, elsewhere in the world the term "dental auxiliary" is used to embrace personnel who do not treat the patient in this way but merely provide ancillary services to the dentist himself. Our use of the term" dental auxiliary" for a highly qualified dental operator therefore causes confusion internationally. Those skilled workers who, outside the United Kingdom, undertake dental fillings are generally known in their own countries as "dental therapists" or as "school dental nurses". The General Dental Council, supported by its Ancillary Dental Workers Committee and indeed by dental auxiliaries in general, is in favour of adopting the title of "dental therapist" and I therefore commend the draft regulations (which do nothing more than I have explained) to your Lordships as a non-controversial measure which will receive a welcome in other countries as well as our own. I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft Ancillary Dental Workers (Amendment) Regulations 1979, laid before the House on 2nd November, be approved.—(Lord Wells-Pestell.)


My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Wells-Pestell, for explaining these regulations. We have no comments.

On Question, Motion agreed to.