Dental Services: Manpower

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of David Crausby David Crausby Labour, Bolton North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she plans to take to review dental manpower in England; and what mechanisms she plans to put in place to satisfy dental manpower needs over the next five years.

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

"The Report of the Primary Care Dental Workforce Review" published in 2004 identified a shortage of dentists to which the Department responded with two major initiatives. Through the Project 1000 campaign, the Department supported the national health service in recruiting the equivalent of 1,453 additional whole time dentists including some 500 overseas dentists. For the longer term, the Department increased the number of undergraduate training places in English dental schools by 170, a 25 per cent. increase in capacity. The first cohort of students to take these additional places will graduate in 2009 by when there will have been three years experience of the devolution of the commissioning of primary care dentistry to primary care trusts (PCTs). As part of these new arrangements, PCTs are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning services to reflect these needs. The Department will work with the NHS to allow local need assessments and commissioning plans to feed into long term work force planning at national level.

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