Dentistry (Burnley)

Health written question – answered on 4th April 2005.

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Photo of Mr Peter Pike Mr Peter Pike Labour, Burnley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people were registered for NHS dental services in Burnley in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

The information is not available in the format requested. However, the figures for registrations for national health service dental services in the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale primary care trust (PCT) area since September 1997 are shown in the table.

Number of people registered
1997 142,493
1998 127,786
1999 126,366
2000 122,466
2001 96,813
2002 94,073
2003 96,361
2004 97,181

The drop in registrations between 1997 and 2004 is mostly attributable to the reduction in the re-registration period for patients from two years to 15 months. The figures also exclude patients treated in dental access centres (DACs) who are not registered. In 2004, there were some 375,000 episodes of treatment in the 48 DACs then in operation in England.

During 2004, there was a large switch to personal dental services (PDS) in the PCT area. For patient registrations (or for where registration does not apply, patients seen in the past 15 months), the PDS number rose from 1,900 at the end of December 2003 to 47,200 at the end of December 2004.

The Government remain determined to improve access to NHS dentistry and has introduced a number of initiatives which will help bring about improvements nationally and more locally. PCT funding for dentistry will increase by 19.3 per cent., from 2003–04 to 2005–06. Consequently, over £250 million of additional resources will be provided by 2005–06.

A NHS support team has been created to work with those PCTs which are experiencing most difficulty in terms of access. PCTs across East Lancashire, including Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale are benefiting from theefforts of the support team. The Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale PCT has so far received £540,000 recurrently from the support team. £28,000 has also been provided to the PCT as part of the dental access moneys provided to the Cumbria and Lancashire strategic health authority (SHA).

The PCT has facilitated some dental access sessions as part of the work of the four PDS schemes in the area. The PCT also has robust plans in place, which will also help to improve access levels over the next three years resulting in an additional 32,000 places for patients on dental lists.

Although the PCT has so far not recruited any international dentists, it is participating in the SHA-wide scheme which is working towards boosting recruitment from this source.

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