John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there are in each primary care trust area; and what net change in the number of dentists in each primary care trust area the Government expects as a result of the implementation of the new NHS dental contract.
Rosie Winterton (Minister of State (Health Services), Department of Health; Doncaster Central, Labour)
The Department has not made a specific assessment of any changes arising from the new dental contract. From April 2006, PCTs will have devolved responsibility for the commissioning of primary dental services. This means that they will be responsible for commissioning dental services to reflect the needs of their local areas. All dentists currently practising in the general dental services and personal dental services are legally entitled to new contracts. If any dentists choose not to take up the new contract, PCTs will use the funding in their devolved budgets to re-commission services from other dentists.