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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many reported defects there were on the defect and failure reporting system, as referred to on page 96 of the departmental report 2005, in the latest year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: Between 1 January and 31 December 2004, there were 58 reported non medical, estate-related defects held on the Department's defect and failure reporting system relating to health care providers in England.
The Department remains committed to promoting and ensuring patient safety throughout the national health service. It is vital that the NHS and the Department work closely together to ensure that all defects and failures are reported and investigated quickly and that any appropriate safety alerts are issued and promptly actioned.
|Organisation||Number of patients occupying an acute bed whose transfer of care is delayed|
|Essex Strategic Health Authority||277|
|Southend Hospitals National Health Service Trust||75|
|Basildon and Thurrock General Hospitals NHS Trust||97|
|Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust||9|
|Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust||37|
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to (a) recruit and (b) retain dentists who register new NHS patients in the constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The provisions of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 will lead to the major changes needed to achieve the most radical reform of dentistry since 1948. This will result in a more locally focussed service for individuals. Among the major changes which will improve access is a new contract for dentists, which will take effect from 1 April 2006.
The new contract, which is based on personal dental service (PDS) pilots, will encourage a more preventive and health promotion focus. There is also a programme to recruit the equivalent of 1,000 dentists by the end of October 2005, leading to some two million individuals being able to access treatment.
Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust (PCT), which includes the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, has been working towards converting as many practices locally to PDS. As at 31 May 2005, there were 61 dental practices in the PCT area of which 21, or 34 per cent., had open PDS contracts. Similarly, as at 31 May 2005, the PCT was providing personal dental services to 44,675 patients. The figure for 31 May 2004 was 4,226.
The PCT has received over £316,000 in dental access funding, which has been used to support local practices to improve their premises and to expand. It is anticipated that this initiative will result in an additional 6,000 dental places.
In addition to the PCTs efforts to increase the PDS contracts locally, it has been active in the Department's international recruitment campaign. As a result, three dentists have recently been recruited from Poland and have joined practices in the South Lakes and Barrow areas of the PCT. A dentist has also been recruited from Portugal to work in the local area. The principal dentist in Barrow has also agreed to the Barrow practice accepting patients from across the whole Morecambe Bay area. These extra recruits are expected to provide a further 5,000 dental places over the next 12 months. The PCT is also targeting dentists who live in the area but who are not known to be working in more local dental practices.
Morecambe Bay PCT is also supporting a range of training opportunities as part of a longer-term approach to increasing numbers of clinicians working locally. This includes placements for dental students and dental therapists. During the past year, 50 final year dental students from the Liverpool dental school spent four weeks working in Morecambe Bay. Additionally, eight dental therapists have started a two-and-a-half-year course at Lancaster and a further eight are due to start in September 2005.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of people who called NHS Direct about access to NHS dentistry were advised of dentists with whom they could register within locally agreed standards in the last period for which figures are available. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
In March 2005, 99 per cent, of telephone calls to NHS Direct concerning dentistry, where complete data was supplied, were advised of dentists within locally agreed standards who could provide them with national health service treatment.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2694W
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected in the format requested. The Department regularly receives a number of representations on the topic of dentistry. This is not further categorised by speciality.
From 1 April 2006, national health service orthodontic care, in general dental practice, will be provided under either general dental services contracts or personal dental services agreements. Commissioning these services locally will lead to resources targeted on those who will benefit most; improved quality of outcomes and reduced treatment times; reduced waiting times for assessment and treatment and greater efficiency in the consultant-led orthodontic services.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the (a) grants and (b) loans made to NHS dental clinics in each of the last five years, broken down by NHS trust; whether conditions regarding continuing to practise with the NHS were attached to each; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In 2001, the Department made £35 million available via the dental care development fund (DCDF) to expand local national health service dental capacity. The Department does not hold details of which dental practices received funds from the DCDF. Strategic health authorities imposed conditions on the grant: that the additional capacity was maintained, usually for three years; and that the practices in receipt of funds contributed approximately 50 per cent. of the total value of the grant.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what remuneration General Dental Services (GDS) dentists will receive for following the recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on patient recall; and what remuneration dentists receive under the existing GDS contract in relation to the recall of patients at six-monthly intervals. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The guidance, issued in October 2004, from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on patient recall states that patients should have dental examinations at clinically appropriate periods normally between three and 24 months.
Under the current general dental service (CDS) dentists are paid an item of service fee for each treatment. These are set out in the Statement of Dental Remuneration, copies of which are available in the Library. Dentists should already be recalling their patients at clinically appropriate intervals. There has never been an expectation under the GDS that patients should be re-called for examinations at six-monthly periods, although a dentist will not normally be allowed to claim for more than one examination undertaken within any six-month period. Following the NICE guidance, dentists are now able to claim for more frequent examinations for those few patients where it is clinically necessary.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2695W
Ms Rosie Winterton: Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust (PCT) received £316,600 in additional funding to improve access in 200405. The PCT is working to increase access through measures including international recruitment, identification of capacity in current premises and the provision of emergency out-of-hours services. The PCT has been involved in recruiting overseas dentists to the area and, over the last year, has recruited one dentist from Portugal and three from Poland.
As at 31 May 2005, there are 61 dental practices within the PCT area. There are 17 practices converted to personal dental service (PDS) contracts, which means that 28 per cent, of practices have been secured to provide national health service dentistry. This equates to 45,000 registered patients. It is anticipated that over the course of the next five years, 5,000 extra registration places will be available to patients through PDS practices alone.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The most radical reform of national health service dentistry since 1948 is under way with Government and the NHS working hard to develop a modernised, high quality primary dental service. This reform programme is specifically designed to retain dentists within the NHS, by the development of a new contract for dentists to be introduced from 1 April 2006, based on personal dental services (PDS) pilots that encourage a more preventative and oral health promotion focus. This and the other dental reforms have been supported by an unprecedented level of Government investment, which is set to increase by over 19 per cent. over two years200506 over 200304resulting in an extra spend of over £250 million a year in primary care dentistry. Specific funding initiatives have included:
The number of primary care dentists has increased from 16,700 in 1997 to 20,192 at the end of May 2005. They are working from some 9,000 practice addresses. Included in the 20,192 total are over 6,000 dentists who are now providing PDS in over 2,200 practice addresses.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2696W
There are 210 practices, in 26 sites, which are field-testing a variety of approaches to improve the quality of patient care and dentists' working lives. Overall, dentists provided 32 million courses of NHS treatment, including 2.8 million in the PDS, in 200405, compared with 24.6 million in 199697.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which organisations have been asked to submit a full business case for establishing a new dental school; when these business cases will be evaluated; by whom; and on what date she expects a new dental school to become operational. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: A joint implementation group (JIG) made up of representatives of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Department and the national health service is managing the expansion of dental training. In May, the joint implementation group invited expressions of interest in taking additional training places from all higher education institutions and short-listed the responses in June. The successful applicants have been invited to submit a full business case by 28 September. The applications included proposals for new dental schools and the expansion of existing schools. It would not be appropriate to publish further information about the applications at this stage. The joint implementation group expects to reach its conclusions around the end of the year, when the location of the additional training places will be published.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government are funding 170 additional training places for dental students. A joint implementation group, made up of representatives of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Department and the national health service, is managing the expansion of dental training. The joint implementation group expects to reach its conclusions around the end of the year, when the location of the additional training places will be published.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population was registered with an NHS dentist in (a) England and (b) Gloucestershire in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
The March data provided in the table for the years 19972005 is consistent with my response of 20 July 2005 to the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb), Official Report, column 1897W, which also gave registration rates.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2697W
|Gloucestershire Family Health Services Authority||47||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Gloucestershire Health Authority||n/a||44||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust||n/a||n/a||59||59||55||55|
|West Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust||n/a||n/a||36||34||31||31|
|Gloucestershire Family Health Services Authority||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Gloucestershire Health Authority||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust||52||53||53||56||57|
|West Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust||30||30||29||25||25|
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the average income, after operating expenses, of dentists working only for the NHS in (a) 2000, (b) 2001, (c) 2002, (d) 2003 and (e) 2004. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on private working of national health service dentists is not routinely available. The average annual payments between 200001 and 200304 to general dental service (GDS) dentists with a reasonable commitment to the GDS are shown in the table.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much is being spent on NHS dentistry in West Kent in 200506; how many NHS dentists are registered as practising in the Sevenoaks constituency; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 20 July 2005]: The main element of primary care dentistry is currently the demand led general dental service (GDS), where expenditure is not predetermined by specific local allocations or budgets. Expenditure on the GDS in West Kent in 200506 will be dependent upon the activity levels of individual national health service dentists and the numbers and types of treatment required by NHS patients. Under the Government's dental reform programme, full local commissioning of dental services by primary care trusts (PCTs) and a new dental contract to replace the present item-of-service payment system will commence in April 2006.
Funding levels for community and hospital dental services are already determined at local level, to be met from PCTs' individual unified budget allocations, but details of such budget plans are not collected centrally.
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2699W
As at 31 March 2005, there were 43 NHS dentists in Sevenoaks parliamentary constituency. This information was provided by the Dental Practice Board and relates to dentists whose practice address postcode is within the constituency boundary.
In 200405, the Department allocated £1.53 million to the Kent and Medway Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to improve access, choice and quality in NHS dentistry. Out of this sum, South West Kent PCT received £128,147. I am advised by Kent and Medway SHA that South West Kent PCT has developed a dental action plan, setting out actions to improve access to dentistry locally and that two personal dental service practices went live in April 2005. I am also advised that the PCT has secured the potential for 5,750 additional registrations through the dental action plan to date.
The average cost of an adult course of treatment with a general dental services dentist for the financial year 200405 was £38.55. This figure excludes continuing care, capitation entry and transition payments.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department will collect whole-time equivalent figures for NHS dentists based on how much time they spend treating NHS patients; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: From next April, primary care trusts (PCTs) will be able to monitor this information under the new contractual arrangements. At present, the majority of high street dentists are independent contractors and can choose the amount of time they wish to make available for national health service patients on a flexible basis. The Department already collects this information in relation to the salaried dental service provided by PCTs.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were registered with an NHS dentist in each year since 1998 in (a) England, (b) each strategic health authority and (c) each primary care trust. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information showing the numbers of people who were registered with a national health service dentist in each year since 1998 in England, by strategic health authority and primary care trust, has been placed in the Library.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Government are funding 170 additional training places for dental students. A joint implementation group, made up of representatives of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Department and the national health service is managing the expansion of dental training. In May, the joint implementation group invited expressions of
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2700W
interest in taking additional training places from all higher education institutions and short-listed the responses in June. The successful applicants have been invited to submit a full business case by 28 September. The applications included proposals for new dental schools and the expansion of existing schools, including outreach schemes. The joint implementation group expects to reaches its conclusions around the end of the year, when the location of the additional training places will be published.
Ms Rosie Winterton: During the period January 2000 to July 2005, two surgeries have closed. The first closed on 31 March 2001, due to the retirement of a single-handed dentist. The second closed on 17 October 2003.
One new surgery opened on 15 September 2003. This is a practice with only general dental services (CDS) contracts. Southend-on-Sea primary care trust allocated additional access money to this practice, which was used to provide equipment. Three dentists were recruited from Ireland and the condition attached to the allocation of funds was for the practice to register 6,000 patients over a period of 15 months, which the practice has achieved.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health further to her Minister's letter of 7 July to hon. Members about NHS dental care, what estimate she has made of the cost of training 117 Polish dentists; what conditions are attached to their contracts; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The total value of the contract to recruit 230 dentists from Poland is £3.8 million, which includes an eight-week training programme for each dentist. The cost of recruiting the remaining 117 dentists is £2.36 million. The dentists recruited are employed on standard employment contracts, in line with United Kingdom employment law.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the dental workforce shortfall on the South West peninsula; and what the shortfall is in each other area bidding for dental training facilities. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Department has not made an assessment of the dental workforce on the South West Peninsula. The bids for dental training facilities are being considered by a joint implementation group, made up of representatives of the Higher Education
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2701W
Funding Council for England, the Department and the national health service. It would not be appropriate to publish details of the bids at this stage.
The joint implementation group expects to reach its conclusions around the end of the year, when the location of the additional training places will be published. The Department's dental support team has been working closely with the South West Peninsula Strategic Health Authority on dentistry issues and 18 international dentists have been recruited as a result of the Department's international recruitment initiative. Another 18 international dentists have been recruited by the primary care trusts across Devon and Cornwall.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Average retention rate data is not readily available. The table shows the percentages of all dentists with contracts at 31 December each year who have left during that year. However, these figures include dentists who leave for a variety of reasons, including retirement and career breaks/maternity leave.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the ratio of NHS dentists to population was in (a) Wellingborough constituency, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) England in the last year for which figures are available. 
Number of dentists
|Ratio of dentists per 10,000 population|
|Daventry and South Northamptonshire|
primary care trust (POT)
|Northamptonshire Heartlands PCT||100||3.6|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and|
Rutland strategic health authority
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were in Wellingborough constituency in (a) 1997 and (b) 2004; and how many of these dentists (i) admitted new adult patients to their list and (ii) treated NHS patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: There were 34 national health service dentists in Wellingborough constituency on 31 March 1997, compared to 37 on 31 March 2004. An analysis of dental practices taking on new patients in May 2004 found that 12 out of 41 dental practices in Northamptonshire Heartlands Primary Care Trust accepted new adult patients. Comparable data for 1997 are not available centrally.
In 1997, all 34 dentists who had an open contract in the Wellingborough constituency area were paid for at least one adult item-of-service claim form during the year ending 31 March 1997. In 2004, 34 out of 37 dentists with an open contract were paid for at least one adult item-of-service claim form during the year ending 31 March 2004.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether all six and seven-year-olds have access to dental services, including fissure sealing, in all primary care trust areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Children are exempt from dental charges and, notwithstanding the problems the Department is addressing with access to national health service dentistry, their parents/carers are generally able to register them with a NHS dentist. It is for individual general dental practitioners to decide if fissure sealing is appropriate, having regard to the oral health needs of their patients.
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Uncollected dental charges are a matter for individual dentists, who are and will remain responsible for the collection of national health service dental charges. Regulation 12 of the draft National Health Service (Dental Charges) Regulations 2006, published for consultation on 7 July 2005, provides for a
12 Sept 2005 : Column 2703W
reduction in the remuneration of the dentist by the amount of the charge payable under the 2006 Regulations (paragraph 4.39 of the consultation document).
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the likelihood of private dentists pricing their services at rates which would enable them to undercut a banded system of NHS dental patient charges. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Very few dentists work on a purely private basis. Most provide a mixture of national health service and private services. Under the proposed banded system of dental charges, patients are entitled to a range of dental treatments within any charge band. For example, a patient requiring an examination, x-ray, scale and polish and oral hygiene advice would pay a single band one charge. If a patient also required fillings they would pay a single band two charge, which would include the cost of the band one treatments.
Private dentists may, of course, choose to reduce their prices to the new level of NHS charge, in which case the patient would be able to choose whether they had NHS or private treatment. If, in these circumstances, the dentist provided the treatment privately, they would still be required to provide an agreed number of NHS courses of treatment, weighted to reflect complexity.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her letter dated 7 July 2005 to hon. Members about changes to NHS dental care and treatment, what changes she expects in Portsmouth within (a) 12 months and (b) three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The proposed changes to national health service dentistry, as announced on 7 July 2005, would create a new system for the residents of Portsmouth, as for the rest of the country, which would reduce the maximum cost of NHS dental treatment by more than half while maintaining the existing exemptions for children under 18, new mothers and those on income related benefits. These exemptions cover 25 per cent, of all adult treatments provided by the NHS. They would move from 400 individual charges to three price bands, thereby creating a simpler pricing structure and ensure that patients know how much they are being charged and what treatment they will receive for their money on the NHS.
In Portsmouth, primary care trusts (PCTs) are already working to make the best use of our initiatives such as the personal dental services (PDS) initiative. For example, within Portsmouth city teaching PCT, four practices have moved over to a PDS contract since December 2004. These four practices have secured access to NHS dentistry for 30,645 patients, which is an increase of 6,557 patients.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written statement of 7 July 2005, Official Report, columns 1517WS, on NHS dentistry reforms, how many dentists have yet to switch to the Personal Dental Service Contract; and what estimate her Department has made of the number likely not to proceed to the General Dental Services Contract. 
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