HC Deb 20 January 2004 vol 416 cc1103-5W
20. Shona Mdsaac

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the provision of NHS dental treatment in North Lincolnshire. [148804]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The Government remain committed to ensuring that national health service dentistry is available to all who need it and seek it. We recognise however that access to NHS dentistry can be difficult in some areas. We have announced additional resources totalling £59 million over this year and next to support dental access.

A NHS support team is working with the hardest pressed areas, including North East Lincolnshire, and we hope that this and other local initiatives will ease the pressure on dental services in North Lincolnshire. We have also made available a one-off payment of £30,000 to North Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust to improve access to NHS dentists. The PCT will use this money to extend a general dental practice in the area, which will allow that practice to register more NHS patients on an agreed basis over a three year period.

We are also working with the PCTs and dentists in North and North East Lincolnshire to see what support can be provided to move dentists on to personal dental services arrangements, which would take them off the bureaucratic treadmill of item of service fees.

Dr. Murrison

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the impact of the 2001 restrictions on non-EU-trained dentists practising in the United Kingdom on the availability of dentistry. [147504]

Ms Rosie Winterton

From 2001, the General Dental Council (GDC) ceased making visitations to dental schools in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, with the result that dentists who qualified after this date and wish to practise here have to sit the GDC's international qualifying examination. The number of dentists from those countries admitted to the GDC register since 2000 is shown in the table.

Australia New Zealand South Africa
2000 174 134 876
2001 178 142 938
2002 168 136 1,022
2003 168 125 1,037

Dr. Murrison

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many foreign-trained dentists were practising in the United Kingdom in each year since 1990, broken down by(a) headcount and (b) full-time equivalents. [147505]

Ms Rosie Winterton

The table shows the number of general dental service (GDS) foreign-trained dentists practising in England and Wales in each year since 1993. Information is not available for years before 1993.

Information on a full-time equivalent basis is not available. GDS dentists can vary the amount of dental work they do and the proportion carried out in the GDS.

General Dental Service: Number of foreign trained dentists practising in England and Wales—September each year
Number of dentists
1993 1,556
1994 1,497
1995 1,530
1996 1,701
1997 1,896
1998 2,180
1999 2,475
2000 2,713
2001 2,869
2002 2,950
2003 3,004


1. Dentists include principal, assistant and vocational dental practitioners.

2. Dentists exclude those whose status is currently shown as Statutory Exam or Awaiting Entry.

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