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James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will introduce regulations to restrict the sale, re-sale and importation of samurai swords; and if she will make a statement. 
The Government issued a consultation paper in March 2007 seeking views on proposals to ban
samurai swords and other offensive weapons. We expect to publish a summary of responses to the consultation paper before the end of the year, which will set out the Governments intentions on introducing regulations to restrict the sale, re-sale and importation of samurai swords.
Mr. Bradshaw: We have no plans to publish the findings of this review as this is a matter for the local national health service. However, we are informed by NHS London that the report has not yet been finalised and is going through due process.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to make adjustments to the distribution of units of dental activity across different dental functions in light of the experience of the April 2006 dental contracts. 
Ann Keen: Units of dental activity are essentially banded courses of treatment, weighted according to the relative average complexity of the three dental charge bands. The current weightings are derived from the previous general dental services fee-scale. Each fee included an element which reflected the relative time taken for the procedure and the expenses incurred. The weighted averaging inherent in the new system means some courses of treatment will involve more time and expense than the average for that band, others less. There are no plans to change the distribution of the existing weighted courses of treatment. However dentists working patterns under the new system are kept under review.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the April 2006 dental contract on the provision of maintenance dental activities, including screening for oral cancer, preventing decay and monitoring childrens dental growth and need for orthodontics. 
Preventive as well as diagnostic treatments are included in a Band 1 course of treatment as set out in Schedule 1 to the NHS (Dental Charges) Regulations 2005 (SI. 2005/3477 as amended). Under a Band 1 course of treatment dentists are required to undertake a clinical examination and diagnosis. Diagnosis includes checking for signs of oral diseases such as oral cancer and any issues with developing teeth and face including any need for orthodontic correction. A Band 1 course of treatment also provides for instruction in the prevention
of dental and oral disease including dietary advice and dental hygiene instruction, surface application as primary preventive measures of sealants and topical fluoride preparations where clinically indicated. Epidemiological surveys of child dental health are generally undertaken by salaried dentists employed by primary care trusts.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the April 2006 dental contract on (a) existing and (b) newly-established dental practices. 
Ann Keen: Dentists providing general dental services (GDS) at 31 March 2006 were entitled to a contract under the new arrangements and a contract value based on historic GDS gross earnings. This was designed to protect those income levels for a three year transitional period. The Department is not aware of significant differences in experience between existing and newly established providers of primary care dental services under the new dental system.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the total shortfall of units of dental activity (UDAs) was among NHS dentists in England who did not undertake the contracted number of UDAs in the financial year 2006-07; 
Ann Keen: Data released by the Dental Services Division of the Business Service Authority show that the total shortfall for national health service dental contracts delivering less than 100 per cent. of contracted activity in 2006-07 was 5.3 million units of dental activity. 94.8 per cent. of total contracted units of dental activity were delivered in 2006-07.
1. The data are available by NHS dental contract. A contract may cover one dentist or a number of dentists.
2. The data provided relate to contracts open for the whole of 2006-07.
Ann Keen: Numbers of national health service dentists at primary care trust (PCT) and strategic health authority (SHA) level as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 are available in Annex E of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006. Information at parliamentary constituency level is available in Annex G.
The numbers of NHS dentists at PCT and SHA level as at 30 June, 30 September, 31 December 2006 and 31 March 2007 are available in Table El of Annex 3 of the
NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07 report. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006.
The inclusion of dentists on trust led contracts in the data collection following the 2006 reforms means that data collected since April 2006 cannot be directly compared with data collected under the previous system.
The numbers quoted in the above reports are headcounts and do not differentiate between full- and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others.
Orthodontist information is only separately identifiable within the Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) of which PCTs are not a part. The following table shows HCHS data for England and SHA areas.
|HCHS : Orthodontic dental staff by SHA area , England as at 30 September each year|
|N umber (headcount)|
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The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census
The methodology and frequency for reporting workforce information are being reviewed. The purpose of the review is to ensure that, following experience of the first year of the new dental contract, figures provide an appropriate measure of the workforce, given the way that the workforce reporting system is being used by PCTs. An update on the review will be provided in the NHS Dentals Statistics for England, Quarter 2, 30 September 2007 publication, which is due to be published in February 2008.
Ann Keen: The proportion of the population registered with an NHS dentist, in England, as at 31 March 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex B of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006.
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