Health Committee Press Notice 35

15 October 2007
Session 2006-07

New Inquiry - Dental Services - Terms of reference

New Inquiry - Dental Services - Terms of reference

The Committee will hold an inquiry into NHS dental and orthodontic services. The inquiry will examine both General Dental Services (GDS) and Personal Dental Services (PDS). The Committee's inquiry will examine the principles underlying the reforms to dental services, which took effect in April 2006, and the extent to which the changes brought about have been consistent with these principles.

The Committee's inquiry will focus particularly on the impact of the reforms on:

€ The role of PCTs in commissioning dental services;

€ Numbers of NHS dentists and the numbers of patients registered with them;

€ Numbers of private sector dentists and the numbers of patients registered with them;

€ The work of allied professions;

€ Patients' access to NHS dental care;

€ The quality of care provided to patients;

€ The extent to which dentists are encouraged to provide preventative care and advice;

€ Dentists' workloads and incomes; and

€ The recruitment and retention of NHS dental practitioners.

The Committee will also consider, as part of its inquiry, the Department of Health's report, NHS Dental Reforms: One year on, which reviewed the first year's operation of the new contracts.

Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence. Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format€”not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail to

The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address.

The e-mail should also make clear if the submission is from an individual or on behalf of an organisation.

The deadline is Thursday 6 December 2007.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum and should be no more than 3,000 words.

Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary.

Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at .

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail.

Evidence sessions are likely to commence after the Christmas Recess and a later press notice will give details of these.


The Membership of the Committee is as follows Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP (Chairman) [L], Mr David Amess MP [C], Charlotte Atkins MP [L], Ronnie Campbell MP [L], Jim Dowd MP [L], Sandra Gidley MP [LD], Dr Doug Naysmith MP [L], Mike Penning MP [C], Mr Lee Scott MP [C], Dr Howard Stoate MP [L], Dr Richard Taylor MP [IND].

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