HC Deb 29 October 1981 vol 10 c447W

Dr. Roger Thomas asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in the event of dental therapists ceasing to work in the State—provided dental community health service, whether he is considering allowing dental therapists to work in ordinary dental practice; and what steps he has in mind to encourage dentists to employ such useful expertise, particularly in areas where dental practitioners are in such short supply.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg: I do not forsee dental therapists ceasing to work in the community dental service. In view of the provisions of the Dentist Act 1957, the General Dental Council's regulations do not permit the employment of dental therapists in general dental practice and there is little prospect of amending the Dentists Act in the immediate future. We shall be considering the future role of the dental therapist grade in the light of comments on the recommendation of the dental strategy review group that the New Cross training school should be closed, but no decision has yet been raised as the period of consultation has not ended.