§ Lord O'HAGAN
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are in favour of fluoridisation of the public water supply; and how much central Government 1745WA money has been spent on projects connected with fluoridisation in each of the last five years.
§ Lord WELLS-PESTELL
Successive Governments have favoured fluoridation for many years and have encouraged health authorities to introduce it as part of their responsibilities for preventive health. This followed the publication in 1962 and 1969 of the reports of the first five and eleven years of the fluoridation studies in the United Kingdom (Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects Nos. 105 and 122), which concluded that fluoridation was a safe and highly effective way of reducing dental decay in the community.
Health authorities finance fluoridation in their areas from the money allocated to them for all the services they provide. The sums provided directly by central Government in the last five financial years were required only for fluoridation in Watford, the last remaining study area at the conclusion of the fluoridation studies. Since 1st April 1974, on reorganisation of the National Health Service, the cost of fluoridation there has been borne by the appropriate Area Health Authority. The payments made centrally in each financial year, in respect of expenses incurred in the previous year, are as follows:
Year payment made Total payment £ 1971/72 1,533 1972/73 1,654 1973/74 1,745 1974/74 3,382 1975/76 Nil