HC Deb 07 October 2003 vol 411 c87W
Mr. Alan Williams:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) providing fluoride to children through milk and (b) disbursing fluoride via the water supply. [131472]

Miss Melanie Johnson:

The cost of implementing the seven trial milk fluoridation schemes under way in the United Kingdom has been relatively modest, due to the fact that existing school milk programmes have been utilised. The actual cost of fluoridating milk is minimal and in most schemes has been absorbed by the dairy. About one half day a week of an oral health promotion officer's time is required to administer each scheme. Information is not yet available to make any reliable estimates of the costs and cost effectiveness of any national scheme using fluoridated milk to tackle oral health inequalities.

The cost of fluoridating water varies depending on the scale of schemes. Experience from current schemes indicates running costs, which are borne by health authorities, of about 40 pence per head of population per year.