HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc1005-8W
Sarah Teather

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population in each primary care trust in London is registered with an NHS dentist. [172798]

Mr. Hutton

At 31 March, 2.9 million people were registered with a general dental service (GDS) dentist in London, representing, 40.7 per cent. of the population. The information in the table shows the percentage of population registered with a dentist in each primary care trust area in London at 31 March.

Registrations are recorded in the dentist's primary care trust (PCT) area. Patients attending a dentist in their home PCT area are recorded in the PCT area of their dentist. Registration rates for individual PCTs can be significantly affected by some patients receiving dental treatment in a different PCT area from the one in which they live.

Registrations lapse if patients do not return to their dentist within 15 months and so the registration figures exclude patients who have not been to their GDS dentist within the past 15 months. Also excluded from the figures are patients who receive dental treatment from other national health service dental services including dental access centres.

Number of General Dental Service registration as a percentage of the

population at 31 March 2004—London

Primary care trust Registration rates
London Region 40.7
North Central London 41.3
Barnet 33.3
Enfield 40.0
Haringey 53.4
Camden 43.1
Islington 40.8
North East London 38.6
Havering 45.3
Barking and Dagenham 36.9
City and Hackney 28.0
Tower Hamlets 31.4
Newham 37.6
Redbridge and Waltham Forest1 44.4
North West London 43.1
Hillingdon 44.2
Hammersmith and Fulham 38.8
Ealing 44.5
Hounslow 46.5
Brent 49.5
Harrow 42.8
Kensington and Chelsea 20.6
Westminster 49.7
South East London 40.7
Bromley 34.9
Greenwich 44.8
Bexley Care Trust 42.3
Lambeth 37.1
Southwark 38.1
Lewisham 49.0
South West London 39.6
Kingston 37.5
Croydon 43.5
Wandsworth 38.2
Richmond and Twickenham 29.8
Sutton and Merton 42.6
1 Combined rates for Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money has been allocated to dentistry(a) in each year since 1997 and (b) for each of the next three years; and how that money has been spent. [169706]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Funding for hospital and community dental services is included in primary care trusts' (PCTs) unified budget allocations and is not identified separately; PCTs decide what level of spend is appropriate for local circumstances from their unified budget allocations.

Funding for general dental services (GDS) is currently managed on a national basis as a non-discretionary budget, and expenditure is determined by the number of patients and the treatments provided. Actual net spend since 1997–98 to 2002–03 are shown in the table.

Expenditure (£ million)
1997–98 959
1998–99 1,022
1999–2000 1,058
2000–01 1,130
2001–02 1,202
2002–03 1,263

Expenditure figures represent the net spend on the GDS after taking account of the contribution from dental charges paid by patients. Figures from 1997–98 to 1999–2000 are cash based. Figures for 2001–02 onwards are resource based. Figures from 1998–99 include expenditure on new personal dental service (PDS) pilot schemes.

In addition to the non-discretionary expenditure shown in the table, £4 million in 2000–01 and £41 million in 2001–02 was allocated to special schemes to help dentists modernise their practices and extend access to more national health service patients.

Expenditure figures for 2003–04 are not yet available. As in previous years, the GDS budget for 2004–05 is a central non-discretionary budget and expenditure will be determined by dental activity. We have not yet made allocations for 2005–06 and 2006–07. These will be notified to Parliament in due course. However, we have already announced further supplementary investment totalling £90 million to support dentistry through to 2005–06. £59 million will support access, and strategic health authorities have been advised of their shares and are working with their primary care trusts to address access issues. £30 million is to support information technology and the balance of £1 million will support organisational development locally.

The funding has been spent in paying fees to dentists for the provision of dental services through the GDS and the PDS and includes increases in fees in line with the Doctors and Dentists Review Body recommendations, as well as the introduction of schemes such as rewarding NHS commitment. Over this period, the number of adult courses of treatment in the general dental service increased from 25.3 million in 1997–98 to 26.7 million in 2002–03, which includes 0.4 million courses in the personal dental service.

Mr. Alan Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to recruit more NHS dentists. [170415]

Ms Rosie Winterton

We are developing a comprehensive plan to increase dental workforce capacity. The plan will address the short, medium and long term. It will include international recruitment and increases in the amount of national health service dentistry provided by United Kingdom dentists.