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5 July 2006 : Column 1214W—continued

The support team will work with the PCT to develop a robust commissioning strategy, along with providing
5 July 2006 : Column 1215W
advice on recommisioning and tendering. This exercise will be conducted in discussion with the four neighbouring PCTs which will merge with the Durham and Chester-le-Street PCT to form the new County Durham PCT from October 2006.

Approximately £1 million remains in the PCT's dental allocation to recommission additional dental services for its population, with the potential to provide an additional seven fully committed NHS dentists.

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written statement of 18 May 2006, Official Report, columns 63-64WS, on NHS dentistry, what assistance she expects to be made available to the Durham and Chester-le-Street primary care trust to provide salaried dentist services. [79026]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Resources are allocated directly to primary care trusts (PCTs) to be used according to the healthcare needs of their local populations. Funding for salaried dental services forms part of their unified budget. It is the responsibility of PCTs to commission salaried dentist services, using funding from this budget according to the needs of their local populations and against national priorities.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the written statement of 18 May 2006, Official Report, column 63WS, on NHS dentistry, how much of the capital investment for dentists is ringfenced for IT in dentistry. [79643]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It will be for strategic health authorities and primary care trusts to make decisions locally on priorities for deploying the £100 million capital investment for NHS primary dental care services announced on 18 May. We intend to publish guidance shortly on potential ways in which this funding could be used most effectively to support dental practices and improve patient services, but we do not intend to ring-fence any element of the funding for specific types of investment.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there are plans to extend the provision of training for dental technicians at the new dental schools. [79791]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As part of a major investment programme for the expansion of dental education, we announced in January the establishment of a new Peninsula dental school with bases in Plymouth, Devonport and Truro and the development of outreach dental education in Central Lancashire and Hull. It is for higher and further education institutions to determine the provision they make for the training of dental technicians. I understand a number of dental schools are considering whether provision for the training of dental technicians could be incorporated into the expansion programme, but no specific proposals have yet emerged.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the Department will measure the merits of the new General Dental Services contract against the previous fee per item system, with particular reference to complex treatments. [79792]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department has established an implementation review group comprising dentistry, patient and national health service representatives to review the impact of the recent dental reforms. The group will shortly be considering how most effectively to assess outcomes under the new arrangements. It will take time for sufficient treatments to have been completed to allow a meaningful assessment, particularly in relation to complex treatments.

Mr. Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated to (a) dental technology and (b) dental laboratories in each of the last five years; and what allocations have been made over the next three years. [79797]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not allocate funds to dental technology or dental laboratories. The costs involved in having dental appliances manufactured for national health service patients are met by general dental practitioners from within the overall remuneration they receive for providing NHS services.

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2006, Official Report, column 1539W, on dentistry, what proportion of all payments due to dentists since 1 April (a) have not been paid correctly, (b) have not been paid on the due date and (c) have been paid neither correctly nor on the due date. [80305]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) reports that 2 per cent. of the payments due to dentists since 1 April have been found to have been incorrect, 4 per cent. were not paid on the due date and 1 per cent. were both paid after the due date and later found to be incorrect. The BSA, in liaison with the relevant primary care trusts, has already corrected or is in the process of correcting these payments.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were in Shrewsbury in (a) 1980, (b) 1997 and (c) 2005. [80338]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Data for 1980 are not held centrally by parliamentary constituency.

As at 31 March 1997, there were 35 national health service dentists in the Shrewsbury and Atcham parliamentary constituency. At the same point in 2005 there were 80 NHS dentists.

The England figure as at 30 September 1980 was 13,591. The number of NHS dentists in England as at 31 March 2005 was 20,088.

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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the index of orthodontic treatment need is used in the allocation of resources. [80683]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Resources for primary dental services, including orthodontic services, have been allocated to primary care trusts for 2006-07 on the basis of expenditure on general dental services and personal dental services during the reference period October 2004 to September 2005, adjusted for pay uplifts and with some allowance for subsequent growth in services.

The index of orthodontic treatment need is not designed as a basis for resource allocation, but as a way of ensuring that needs assessment is carried out more fairly and that resources are targeted on those with the greatest needs.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) demand for and (b) supply of orthodontic specialists in the United Kingdom for each of the next 10 years; and if she will make a statement. [80684]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is now the responsibility of the strategic health authorities to assess future work force needs and make decisions on number of training places. In 2005, the work force review team, which works on behalf of the national health service to co-ordinate and synthesise information about the health work force in England, made estimates for the requirement for the numbers of whole time equivalent hospital based orthodontic consultants and projections for staff in post as follows:

Requirement Orthodontic consultants































Orthodontic specialists work in both hospitals and primary care settings including high street dental practices. The new commissioning arrangements introduced in April 2006 will in the future enable primary care trusts (PCTs) to plan and commission services across primary and secondary care trusts. We are looking to develop services outside hospital by encouraging PCTs to contract with specialists working in the community and, where appropriate, general dental practitioners with a special interest in orthodontics.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received from orthodontists regarding the impact of running costs on practices under the new dental contract; and if she will make a statement. [80685]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The representations that the Department has received from orthodontists have focused largely on new or growing orthodontic practices, where the value of their most recent national health service caseload (prior to the implementation of the recent dental reforms) exceeds their NHS earnings during the October 2004 to September 2005 reference period used for calculating minimum guaranteed contract values under the new arrangements. It is for primary care trusts to decide locally whether and, if so, how far to adjust contract values in these circumstances, based on assessment of local needs and taking into account local priorities.

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the new dental contract arrangements on access to orthodontic treatment; and if she will make a statement. [80686]

Ms Rosie Winterton: New arrangements are designed to provide a more consistent method of assessing orthodontic needs and enable primary care trusts (PCTs) to target resources more accurately on children with the greatest needs.

PCTs will need to form a local view on whether to reduce, maintain or increase the level of orthodontic activity commissioned from dentists in line with the local population’s needs and local priorities. It is too early to make any assessment of changes in levels of access to orthodontic treatment.

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of people were registered with an NHS dentist on 29 June in each constituency in England. [81211]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not collected in the form requested.

Information will be available in due course via the NHS business services authority on the numbers of patients who receive care or treatment from national health service primary care dentists on one or more occasions within a given period of time. This will provide a measure that is broadly similar to that of patient registration under the former system of general dental services. We expect the first information to be available in the autumn.

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health why the UK Government have objected to the European Medical Devices Expert Group’s recommendation that a statement of conformity be given to the patient from his or her dentist on supply of a custom-made dental appliance. [82152]

Andy Burnham: This proposal, which was made by the European Commission as part of their recommendations to amend the medical devices directive 93/42/EC, is still under negotiation between member states in the Council of Ministers working group and no final decision has been reached. The United Kingdom Government will implement whatever amendment is made to the directive in this respect once it has been ratified by the European Parliament.

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Departmental Annual Reports

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in her Department did not achieve an acceptable mark in their annual report in each of the last three years; and what percentage this represented of the total number of staff in each case. [75113]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As part of the annual staff appraisal process, the performance of individuals is classified against one of the four performance-related pay categories, where box one is the highest category marking, box four being the lowest. The number of staff who received a box marking of three and four is shown in the table.

Number unacceptable Percentage










Notes: Box three—most but not all objectives have been met, meaning that performance is stronger in some parts of the job than in others and further development needs can be identified and performance improvements made to reach good all-round standards. These needs must have been communicated to the individual during the appraisal year. Box four—overall performance is weak and objectives are not being met. Development opportunities have not had a significant effect. By this stage, the individual concerned should have been counselled and been must have been aware that their work is unsatisfactory in both discussion and in writing.

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of staff in her Department are making additional voluntary contributions to their pension. [72992]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Members of the principal civil service pension scheme (PCSPS) can pay additional contributions to top up their pension either through the civil service additional voluntary contributions scheme (CSAVCS), a money purchase arrangement, or by buying added years of service in the PCSPS. As an alternative to membership of the PCSPS recruits from 1 October 2002 have been able to join a stakeholder arrangement, the partnership pension account.

The number and percentage of staff in the Department who are making additional voluntary contributions to their pension as at 30 April 2006 is shown in the table.

Number Percentage




Added years






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