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The Government fails to answer another simple question

Mike_penningMike Penning - raconteur, aesthete, Shadow Health Minister and MP for Hemel Hempstead - has uncovered yet another extraordinary example of Governmental ignorance. This came out in a written answer.

"Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there are per 1,000 people in Hemel Hempstead constituency. [228365]

Ann Keen: Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of dentists with national health service activity during the years ending 31 March 2007 and 31 March 2008 per 100,000 population is available in Table G1 of Annex 3 of the report NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08. Information is available by strategic health authority and by primary care trust. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements introduced on 1 April 2006.

Following a recent consultation exercise, this measure is based on a revised methodology and therefore supersedes previously published workforce figures relating to the new dental contractual arrangements. It is not comparable to the information collected under the old contractual arrangements. The revised methodology counts the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded through FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March.

This report, published on 21 August 2008, has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the website of the Information Centre for health and social care at:

Figures relate to headcounts and do not differentiate between full-time and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others."

Complicated to calculate it may be. Impossible it would not be.


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