§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the average waiting time for(a) an initial appointment with and (b) treatment by an NHS orthodontist in Scotland; how much has been allocated to the Scottish Dental Access Initiative; which health boards have applied for funds to date and for how much; how many applications have been successful in each health board area; and how much total funding has been approved and distributed to date. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
[holding answer 9 February 1999]A major proportion of orthodontic treatment is undertaken in general dental practice, rather than in hospitals or the Community Health Service and no information is held centrally on patient waiting times for such treatment. Most orthodontic treatments carried out within the Hospital and Community Health Service settings are undertaken on an outpatient basis. Provisional figures show that, at 30 September 1998, the mean waiting time for a first orthodontic outpatient appointment was 103 days.
Funding of £1 million has been allocated to the Scottish Dental Access Initiative in 1998–99. Dentists, not Health Boards, apply for funds under the Initiative. Information on the number of applications for funding, offers and payments made, is given in the table. To respect the anonymity of the applicants, information on the Scottish Dental Access Initiative is not provided on an individual Health Board basis.
From 1 July this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.
Scottish Dental Access Initiative Number of applications received 28 Amount applied for (£000) 970 Number of offers made1 13 Amount offered (£000) 379 Payments made (£000) 134 1Offers number 6 in western, 5 in northern and 2 in eastern Health Board areas.