§ Ms Blears
During 2001 the Chief Dental Officer led a working group to look at options for change to modernise national health service dentistry building on the Government's strategy document "Modernising NHS dentistry: Implementing the NHS Plan" published in September 2000.
This group has completed its deliberations and the Government announced on 25 April that we intend to move forward plans to reform NHS dentistry developed by the "Options for Change" group. The ideas behind "Options for Change" need practical testing and demonstration sites will be set up across the country, with the assistance of the NHS Modernisation Agency. The sites will explore a variety of new methods for providing NHS dentistry, such as allowing primary care trusts to commission all NHS dental services and allowing dentists to choose to work in different ways at different times in their careers.
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 9 May 2002]: Fee expenditure in the general dental service is shown in the table, both gross and also net of patient charges. Figures are given by health authority in the north-west region for the years 1996–97 to 2000–01.
Fee expenditure covers dentists' claims for treating patients and patient registrations payments. It excludes some other payments to dentists where a breakdown by health authority is not collected centrally, for example reimbursement of practice rates.
Expenditure by other national health service dental services is not collected centrally.
General dental service: gross and net fees by health authority in the north-west region, 1996–97 to 2000–01725W