Regulations have toady been laid before Parliament to uplift dental charges in England from 1 April 2016.
In the 2015 Spending Review, the Government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020-21 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the Government expects the National Health Service to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings because we must make the best use of NHS resources.
We have taken the decision to uplift dental charges for those who can afford it, through a 5% increase this year and next.
This means that the dental charge payable for a band 1 course of treatment will rise by 80 pence in 2016-17, from £18.90 to £19.70, and by 90 pence in 2017-18, from £19.70 to £20.60. The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £2.60 in 2016-17, from £51.30 to £53.90, and by £2.40 in 2017-18, from £53.90 to £56.30. The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £11.20 in 2016-17, from £222.50 to £233.70, and by £10.60 in 2017-18, from £233.70 to £244.30.
Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services, first introduced in 1951, but we will keep protecting the most vulnerable within society. NHS dental treatment will remain free for those under the age of 18, those under the age of 19 and receiving full-time education, pregnant women or those who have had a baby in the previous twelve months, and those on qualifying low income benefits. If someone does not qualify for these exemptions, full or partial help may be available through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
Details of the revised charges for 2016-17 can be found in the attached.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords