§ Mr. Ruffley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were per head of population in(a) Suffolk, (b) Norfolk, (c) Essex and (d) Cambridgeshire in each year since 1997. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
The information requested is shown in the table. These figures are on a headcount basis rather than a whole time equivalent (wte) basis and therefore take no account of part-time working. NHS dentists cover dentists working in the general dental service (GDS), hospital dental service (HDS), community dental service (CDS), personal dental service (PDS) and salaried service of the GDS. Dentists have been counted in each dental service in which they practice, apart from dentists working in the PDS and GDS, who are counted as GDS dentists.
NHS Dental Services: Number of dentists per 100,000 population of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire 1997 to 2001 Number of dentists per 100,000 population At 30 September 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Suffolk 36 38 39 39 38 Norfolk1 n/a n/a 40 40 42 Essex 36 36 37 38 39 Cambridgeshire1 n/a n/a 38 39 42 Cambridgeshire and Norfolk1 31 32 39 40 42 1 Separate information is not available for Norfolk and Cambridgeshire for 1997 and 1998 because the health authority data cannot be separated into the two county areas. An HA re-organisation in April 1999 allows separate data to be produced.
1. Dentists in the General Dental Service are assigned to the main area in which they work.
2. Population estimates are based on the 2001 census