HL Deb 18 January 2005 vol 668 cc20-1WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

As part of my strategy for improving the management and delivery of health services across defence, the Defence Dental Agency will be disestablished as an agency with effect from 1 April 2005. On that date responsibility for delivering defence dental services will transfer to the Director General Healthcare. The renamed Defence Dental Services organisation will become a component of his "managed military health system for force generation".

This decision follows a full review of the DDA's status in line with the recommendations of the Landscape Review and in recognition of the changes that have taken place since the Medical Quinquennial Review of 2001, most notably the appointment of a Director General Healthcare to develop and implement coherent end-to-end processes for the delivery of health services to military personnel and entitled dependants. The review concluded that the important work of the DDA in promoting oral health, providing a primary dental treatment service and providing deployable dental personnel to support operations should be streamlined and rationalised within DG Healthcare's managed military health system in support of force generation. I am confident that this arrangement will preserve the benefits that have accrued as a result of agency status (improved tri- service working, professionalism and customer focus) while delivering real business benefits—contributing to a stronger emphasis on the health needs of service personnel to ensure that they are fit and healthy to deploy when needed.