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Publication, Part of

Dental Working Hours, England and Wales - 2006-07 and 2007-08

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Wales, England
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Strategic Health Authorities
Date Range:
06 Apr 2006 to 05 Apr 2008


This report provides information on dental working hours for NHS dentists in England and Wales for 2006/07 and 2007/08. Information on average weekly hours and weekly NHS hours, weeks of annual leave and the division of time between NHS and private dentistry, and clinical and administrative work, is presented. The report also makes some comparisons between this new information and the results of the 'Survey of General Dental Practitioners' Workload', conducted by the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) in 2000.

The sample was determined from the results of a survey, the 'NHS Business and Provider and Performer Arrangement Enquiry', administered to all dentists (who had some NHS activity recorded within 2006/07 or 2007/08) across England and Wales. The population is based on data sourced from the Dental Services Division (DSD) of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).

This report has been produced by The NHS Information Centre for health and social care. A joint working group with representation from the NHS Information Centre, the Department of Health (DH), the British Dental Association (BDA), the secretariat for the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB), the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and the DSD was consulted on this study and the content of the report.

Key Facts

The main findings for 2007/08 are given below.

  • overall, NHS dentists (full and part-time) reported working an average of 37.0 hours per week in dentistry, of which 26.2 hours (70.8 per cent) were devoted to NHS dental services. The remainder, 29.2 per cent, was accounted for by private dentistry.
  • on average, providing performer dentists (who engage with health bodies to provide dental services, and who may have other dentists working to deliver these services) worked more weekly hours (40.2 hours) than performer only dentists (dentists who perform dental services but do not hold a contract with a health body), at 34.9 hours. Providing performers reported spending 63.9 per cent of their time on NHS dentistry (25.6 weekly NHS hours); for performer only dentists this measure was 76.1 per cent (26.6 weekly NHS hours).
  • male dentists worked more weekly hours (39.5 hours on average) than female dentists (32.6 weekly hours). Men reported spending 68.9 per cent of their time on NHS dentistry, equivalent to 27.2 weekly NHS hours; for women this proportion was 74.9 per cent (24.4 weekly NHS hours)
  • overall, dentists working within the Personal Dental Services (PDS) reported spending 82.5 per cent of their time on NHS dental services, which is higher than that for those in the General Dental Services, at 64.5 per cent.
  • there is regional variation in the proportion of total time spent on NHS dentistry. Dentists in the South Central SHA reported the lowest proportion of NHS dentistry (56.2 per cent) and dentists in the North East SHA reported the highest (83.6 per cent).
  • overall, dentists reported that their time spent on dentistry was split by 84.8 per cent on clinical work and 15.2 per cent on administrative work. Providing performer dentists reported spending 80.9 per cent of their time on clinical work, whereas for performer only dentists this proportion was 87.7 per cent.
  • in 2000, the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) conducted a dental workload study on behalf of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB). This study, based on dentists working in the General Dental Service across Great Britain, showed that dentists (both full and part-time) worked an average of 39.4 hours a week. This is higher than the average weekly hours of 37.0 reported by dentists for 2007/08 in the analysis presented in this report.


Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:08 pm