Health written question – answered on 24th April 2006.

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Photo of Robert Walter Robert Walter Conservative, North Dorset

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists in North Dorset constituency have declined the NHS dentist contract; and if she will make a statement.

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

holding answer 20 April 2006

Information on the number of dentists who have declined to provide national health service dental services from 1 April 2006 is not yet available centrally.

Provisional management estimates on the number of accepted and rejected contracts are available centrally. These show that, as at the start of April in North Dorset Primary Care Trust (PCT), 14 contracts had been accepted and three contracts had been rejected.

The contract numbers do not read across to numbers of individual dentists who may have agreed or rejected contracts. Contracts can be at practice or individual dentist level. Typically, many of the accepted contracts are with practices covering a number of dentists, whereas rejected contracts are more likely to be for individual practitioners.

In North Dorset PCT, the rejected contracts represent an estimated 7.1 per cent. of the total NHS services represented by all the contracts offered by this PCT, based on weighted courses of treatment or units of dental activity.

PCTs are using the funding associated with rejected contracts to commission additional services from other dentists. The information available centrally does not include any services commissioned since the information given above was collected at the start of April.

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