§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he plans to implement an experiment to assess the need for an emergency dental service along the lines of that suggested by the Working Party on the Dental Services in its Interim Report on Emergency Dental Services;
(2) what is his policy on emergency dental services in the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Ennals
All details of the operation of four carefully monitored two-year trials to assess the need for emergency dental services have been agreed between the British Dental Association and my Department. Agreement has not so far been reached on the amount of the sessional fee consistent with current pay policy, to be paid to dentists taking part. The matter is still subject to further discussion.
Policy on emergency dental services in the National Health Service will depend on the assessment of the trials when completed. Meanwhile area health authorities are at liberty to set up schemes in premises of their own if they consider them of sufficient priority as to warrant diversion of resources from other activities and provided the schemes conform to general dental services regulations.