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NHS Dentistry

Health written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has made of the leaving rate of dentists from NHS to private practices in the last three years.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

Very few dentists leave the general dental service (GDS) totally to practice privately. However, dentists in the GDS can vary their level of commitment to the GDS, for example by increasing the amount of their private work.

The number of dentists leaving the GDS is shown in the table for the years 1998–99 to 2000–01 for England together with the percentages of the number of dentists at the beginning of the year.

The number of leavers covers all reasons for leaving the GDS including retirement from dental work and dentists taking career breaks. These figures are inflated by the transfer of some dentists from the GDS to some personal dental service pilots.

General dental service (GDS): number of dentists who left the GDS and percentage of principal and total dentists from 1998–99 to 2000–01
1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01
Number of leavers
Principals 761 780 875
Assistants 106 157 181
Vocational dental practitioners 105 95 136
All dentists 972 1,032 1,192
Leavers as percentage of dentist number at beginning of year (per cent.)
Principals 5 5 5
All dentists 6 6 7

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