HC Deb 27 October 1987 vol 121 c250W
Mr. Hinchliffe

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what specific provision is proposed for the dental treatment within the National Health Service of HIV positive patients to avoid the possibility of cross-infection.

Mr. Newton

The chief dental officer issued guidance to all dentists in the hospital, community and general dental services in April of last year. This stressed the importance of following high standards of cross-infection control when treating patients. By following simple procedures dentists will be able to minimise the risks from exposure to the virus during the course of routine dental treatment.

Additionally, the guidance recommends specific precautions to be followed when the patient receiving treatment is a known carrier of HIV. At present, there are no plans to issue further guidance to dentists on this subject, though the need to do so is kept under regular review.

These measures may require some additional expenditure by general dental practitioners. Consequently, on the recommendation of the Dental Rates Study Group, the fees paid to practitioners in 1987–88 reflect amongst other factors exceptional expenditure on cross-infection procedures.