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22 Feb 2005 : Column 482W—continued


16. Dr. Palmer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on NHS dentistry. [216981]

Ms Rosie Winterton: We are undertaking the most far-reaching reforms of NHS dentistry since 1948, supported by an additional £368 million. To ensure that more people can see a NHS dentist when and where they need to, the equivalent of 1,000 dentists will be recruited by October 2005.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were registered with a NHS dentist in (a) each Government office region and (b) each parliamentary constituency in each year since 1997. [211946]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information requested on registrations by Government regional office is shown in the table.
Registrations by Government regional office—September 1997 to September 2004

office name

GDS contractPDS contract
Y41North East Cluster19974,566,6720
Y42North West and19976,985,2330
West Midlands19986,143,8680
20006,153 ,51687,919
Y43Eastern Cluster19975,306,3350
Y44Southern Cluster19976,631,5320
Y45London Cluster19973,614,1030

1.The drop in registrations between September 1997 and September 1998 is mostly attributable to the reduction in the re-registration period from two years to 15 months.
2.The figures excludes patients treated in dental access centres who are not registered. In 2004 there were some 375,000 episodes of treatment in dental access centres.

22 Feb 2005 : Column 483W

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many dentists ceased providing NHS dental services in each of the last three years (a) in England and (b) within Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust; [214107]

(2) how many NHS patients were registered with a dentist in each of the last three years in (a) England and (b) Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust; [214333]

(3) how may NHS patients were unable to register with a dentist in each of the last three years in (a) England and (b) Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust. [214334]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Information is not held on the number of dentists who ceased providing national health service dental services altogether. The Office of Fair Trading report, The private dentistry market in the UK", published in March 2003, estimated that out of 11,000 dental practices nationally, only about 210 are totally private.
22 Feb 2005 : Column 484W

The following table shows the number of dental patients registered with a general dental service (GDS) or personal dental service (PDS) dentist in England, and Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust area, as at 30 September each year.
EnglandDurham and Chester-le-Street PCT

Registrations in the GDS lapse if the patient has not returned to the dentist within 15 months. These figures do not include patients who get dental treatment without registration, for example in dental access centres.

Information is not available on patients who are unable to register with a dentist, but we are undertaking a wide range of initiatives to improve access to NHS dentistry. In the Durham and Chester-le-Street PCT, a local dental access scheme has been developed at a cost of £65,770 from central funds. Under the scheme, 10practices, which were not previously taking on new NHS patients, have been funded to provide an agreed number of new patient contacts. From September 2004, the scheme has delivered 1,000 additional NHS appointments and expects shortly to deliver a further 300 appointments. As a result, between late September and November, all patients seeking a NHS dentist should have been able to access occasional NHS dental treatment and, in addition, some were able to register with a NHS dentist.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many unfilled dental clinical academic staff vacancies there are in dental schools; how he plans to assist in filling them; and if he will make a statement. [216508]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The latest information available centrally is from a survey conducted in 2001, which found that, out of 476 academic posts in the 15 dental schools in the United Kingdom, 74, or 16 per cent., were unfilled. We are undertaking a major programme of investment in dental education. We are to fund an extra 170 extra undergraduate dental training places in English dental schools from October 2005. The funds, which build up to £29 million per annum by 2010–11, include provision for the creation of more clinical academic posts and enhancing the terms of service for staff working in dental schools. We are also working jointly with the Department for Education and Skills to address issues relating to the recruitment and retention of academic staff.

South Gloucestershire PCT

17. Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the funding of South Gloucestershire primary care trust. [216983]

Dr. Ladyman: The latest round of revenue allocations covering 2006–07 and 2007–08 was announced on 9 February 2005.
22 Feb 2005 : Column 485W

South Gloucestershire primary care trust will receive funding of £250 million for 2006–07 and £275 million for2007–08. These allocations include increases of £21 million, or 9.1 per cent., for 2006–07 and £25 million, or 10 per cent., for 2007–08.

New Community Hospitals

18. Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on his Department's policies on the construction of new or replacement community hospitals. [216984]

Mr. Hutton: Decisions on service provision are best made at a local level, which is why Keeping the NHS Local" was published in February 2003. This guidance covers service expansion and redesign. The NHS will need to follow it when considering the role of community hospitals.

21. Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the criteria for establishing community hospitals. [216987]

Mr. Hutton: Decisions on establishing community hospitals are a local matter. The Department has not therefore set any criteria for their establishment.

Foundation Hospitals (England)

20. Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many three star hospitals there are in England; and how many have applied for foundation status. [216986]

Mr. Hutton: 76 acute and specialist trusts were awarded three stars in the 2003–04 national health service performance ratings last July.

Of these, 24 trusts submitted a preliminary application for NHS Foundation Trust status last November as part of wave two For the first time, invitations for foundation status were also extended to Mental Health trusts and eight out of 10 eligible three star rated trusts submitted a preliminary application.

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