HC Deb 19 April 2004 vol 420 cc254-6W
Mr. Hepburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists per head of population there were in(a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) Tyne and Wear, (d) the North East and (e) England in each year since 1997. [162925]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The number of general dental service (GOS) dentists per 10,000 population for South Tyneside Primary Care Trust (PCT), Tyne and Wear, the North East and for England for 1997 to 2003 is shown in the table. Jarrow constituency is covered by South Tyneside PCT.

These figures are on a headcount rather than a whole time equivalent basis (wte) basis and therefore take no account of part-time working. This may affect comparisons between different areas. The figures include dentists working in the GDS or in the personal dental service (PDS). They exclude dentists working in other National Health Service dental services; community dental services and hospital dental services. Dentists working wholly privately are not covered.

Number of dentists per 10,000 population at 30 September

each year



1Tyne and




1997 3.44 3.27 3.07 3.45
1998 3.60 3.39 3.25 3.54
1999 3.65 3.49 3.35 3.65
2000 3.67 3.57 3.37 3.72
2001 3.62 3.61 3.43 3.84
2002 3.73 3.75 3.54 3.89
2003 3.73 3.86 3.57 3.95
1For 1997 to 2001, figures cover Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority (HA) area. From 2002, the figures cover South Tyneside PCT.
2 Between 1997 and 2002, figures for Tyne and Wear include the following HAs: Gateshead and South Tyneside, Newcastle and North Tyneside and Sunderland. From 2002, figures represent the following PCTs: Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland Teaching.
3 Between 1997 and 2002 the North East includes the following HAs: County Durham and Darlington, Gateshead and South Tyneside, Newcastle and North Tyneside, Northumberland, Sunderland and Tees. From 2002, it includes Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and County Durham and Tees Valley SHA.

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost of providing free dental checks for(a) children every six months and (b) adults every year. 1164861]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Children are entitled to free dental treatment under the National Health Service, including free dental examinations every six months.

About a quarter of all adults are exempt from charges or pay reduced charges for NHS dental treatment. Under current arrangements, adults may have dental examinations at six monthly intervals if they wish.

If annual dental examinations were made free to all adults in England, patient charge revenue would be reduced by around £65 million per annum. Under the present dental payment system for general dental services, the total cost would be increased if the change stimulated demand for more dental examinations and these also led to some additional NHS dental treatment.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has recently produced draft guidance for consultation, which proposes that the interval between dental examinations for patients should be tailored to meet their needs on the basis of an assessment of disease levels and risk of dental disease. If accepted, we would expect the new contractual arrangements for dentists which are currently under discussion with the profession to reflect this approach which is aimed towards care tailored to the clinical needs of patients. Under the new contract proposals, the link between treatments and payments will be abolished. Instead, dentists will be paid a guaranteed annual income for an agreed level of NHS commitment and will be free to decide treatments for their patients on the basis of clinical need, including the frequency of dental examinations.

Mr. Barnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a list of NHS dentists serving North Derbyshire; what the addresses of each such clinic is; and what the extent of private dental work undertaken by each one is. [166378]

Dr. Ladyman

This information is not collated centrally. However, addresses and contact numbers for dentists serving in North Derbyshire can be obtained from NHS Direct (tel: 0845 4647), or from the national health service website at www.nhs.uk (tel: 020 7210 4850) which connects to local NHS services.

There is no information available on private work as this is a matter for individual contractors.