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18 Apr 2006 : Column 207W—continued

NHS Dentistry

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what factors underlay the decision to introduce the new contracts for NHS dentists. [55845]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The old fee per item remuneration system encouraged high levels of invasive treatment and did not allow sufficient time for preventative work. The new contracts abolish this treadmill" effect. They will pay dentists for the overall service they provide to patients, rather than on a fee per item basis and provide significantly more time for preventative care and oral health promotion.

The old system has also failed to provide stability for local communities. Dentists could set up practices where they wished and vary the amount of national health service work they did without any influence by primary care trusts (PCTs). Where a dentist left the NHS or reduced the level of NHS service provided, the PCT was relatively powerless to replace this lost service. The new contracts enable PCTs and dentists to agree in advance what level of NHS service the dentists will provide. Where a dentist ceases to provide NHS service, the PCT will retain the funding for that contract and will use it to re-provide services.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what public consultation measures primary care trusts are obliged to carry out prior to the changes to dental commissioning due to the change of contract in April 2006; and if she will make a statement. [56520]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Primary care trusts are required to undertake a proportionate consultation when reconfiguring local health services. In this case, they are not reconfiguring services but exercising their new powers to meet their statutory duty under new section 16CA(1) of the National Health Service Act 1977 to provide or secure the provision of primary dental services to the extent considered necessary to meet all reasonable requirements in their area.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was made available for NHS dentistry in North Yorkshire in 2005–06; and how much is planned for 2006–07. [57414]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The main element of national health service dental services are the primary dental care services provided by dentists working within the general dental service (GDS), or personal dental service (PDS) pilots. The GDS is currently a non discretionary service funded from a national budget and expenditure is mainly determined by the volume of NHS work that dentists choose to undertake. Local budget allocations are not assigned to individual primary care trusts (PCTs).

PDS pilots are managed locally, and the Department has allocated the sums shown in the table to PCTs in the area of the North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire strategic health authority to support PDS pilot schemes in 2005–06. These allocations are net of the expected contribution to service costs from dental charges collected directly from patients.

Final audited GDS and PDS expenditure data for 2005–06 will not be available until some months after the year end.
Personal dental service net funding allocations 2005–06

PCTNet funding allocation (£)
Craven, Harrogate and Rural District2,680,000
East Yorkshire1,830,000
Eastern Hull4,874,000
Hambleton and Richmondshire1,777,000
North East Lincolnshire3,401,000
North Lincolnshire3,738,000
Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale4,251,000
Selby and York6,498,000
West Hull4,803,000
Yorkshire Wolds and Coast2,013,000

We have moved to a new system for NHS dentistry from April 2006 under which PCTs are responsible for commissioning all primary dental care services for their local population embracing services currently provided through the GDS and PDS. We have issued PCTs with preliminary budgets to allow them to plan and commission services and expect to issue final budgets including an allowance for a 2006 pay uplift shortly. Preliminary budgets for 2006–07 for PCTs in the area of North and East Yorkshire SHA are shown in the table.
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The difference between gross budgets and net allocations is the expected contribution to costs from dental charges collected directly from patients.
Provisional primary dental care allocations 2006–07 (£)

PCTGross budget at 2005–06 pricesNet allocation at 2005–06 prices
Craven, Harrogate and Rural District9,925,5536,758,000
East Yorkshire5,125,2323,409,000
Eastern Hull6,544,1735,345,000
Hambleton and Richmondshire5,850,1923,925,000
North East Lincolnshire7,543,9065,686,000
North Lincolnshire5,914,4604,170,000
Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale7,485,1615,214,000
Selby and York13,233,0978,999,000
West Hull8,191,3236,261,000
Yorkshire Wolds and Coast4,263,0932,790,000

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists were employed under the previous NHS dentistry contract in North Yorkshire at the time the new contract was introduced. [57416]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In December 2005, there were 662 dentists with an open general dental services or personal dental services contract in North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire strategic health authority area. The new dental contract was introduced on 1 April 2006.

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of people were registered with an NHS dentist on 31 March 2006 in each constituency in England. [62425]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The number of people registered with a national health service dentist by constituency as at 31 December 2005 has been placed in the Library. Information on the percentage of people registered with a NHS dentist in each constituency is not available, as population estimates by constituency do not exist.

Data for 31 March 2006 are not yet available.

Departmental Advice

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2006, Official Report, column 1818W, on departmental advice, if she will place in the Library the letter to strategic health authority chief executives from the Office of Strategic Health Authorities. [62396]

Mr. Byrne: The letter of 23 September 2005 to strategic health authority chief executives from the Office of Strategic Health Authorities has been placed in the Library and is also available on the Department's website at:

Departmental Contracts

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what contracts her Department entered into with Medeva BV and its British subsidiary companies between 1 May 1997 and 31 December 2000; [61426]

(2) what contracts her Department entered into with Celltech Chiroscience Limited between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003; [61427]
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(3) what contracts her Department has entered into with Chiron Corporation and its subsidiary companies since 1 January 2003. [61428]

Jane Kennedy: During 1 May 1997 to 31 December 1999, Medeva plc was contracted for a number of vaccines as part of the childhood immunisation programme. These vaccines were Trivax AD, Diphtheria Tetanus, Diphtheria, Oral Polio, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) percutaneous and intradermal and purified protein derivatives (PPD) Tuberculin dilutions.

Some of these contracts will still have been running when the merger of Medeva plc and Celltech Chiroscience was announced in November 1999.

During the early part of the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2003, we continued to contract for oral polio vaccine (April 2000 to March 2001). This was still referred to as Medeva oral polio vaccine and indeed Medeva still tendered for and contracted under the Medeva name for both oral polio, BCG and PPD.

Since 1 January 2003, Chiron has been contracted for Diphtheria Tetanus vaccine and Meningitis C. Outside of the childhood programme Chiron have also supplied seasonal flu vaccine as part of the Department's contingency arrangements.

It should also be noted that Chiron have been contracted since well before January 2003 as they were one of the first companies to supply Meningitis C vaccine when this was introduced to the childhood programme in 1999.

These contracts were carried out by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and formerly NHS Supplies on behalf of the Department and do not cover contracts for the national health service.

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