Dental Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th December 2020.

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Photo of James Wild James Wild Conservative, North West Norfolk

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the proportion of time that dentists allocate to NHS patients.

Photo of James Wild James Wild Conservative, North West Norfolk

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made in renegotiating the (a) General Dental Services and (b) Personal Dental Services contract.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Dentists contract with the NHS to provide an agreed level of dental activity per year. Where a dentist holds a contract with the NHS they must deliver the agreed activity or, if performance is below 96%, the NHS can recover the unused funds. Dentists therefore have a strong financial incentive to deliver the contracted service. Many dentists provide both NHS and private care but there are usually no shortage of applicants if NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) lets a dental contract.

The amount of dental service is it safe to deliver during COVID-19 has reduced significantly. Dentistry includes a number of aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) which require the highest level of infection protection control including resting the treatment room for up to an hour between patients. We are working hard to try and restore the service.

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