FINANCE: The primary care trust has secured £150,000 to help clear 2,000 patients from the waiting list for NHS dentistry, according to its latest performance report.

The money comes from the 2 per cent of the PCT’s budget that was “top-sliced” by NHS North West at the start of 2011-12. All strategic health authorities held back this proportion of PCTs’ budgets, which commissioners had to bid to use for one-off or “non-recurrent” expenditures.

NHS Bolton’s report states that a “successful bid has been made against the 2 per cent Non Recurrent Fund 2011-12 to fund a dental waiting list initiative.” It goes on to say £150,000 “has been secured to allow 2,000 patients to be seen in year to help manage the position on a short term basis”.

“The scheme commenced on 11 November 2011 and, as of 22 November, the majority of the 2,000 patients have been contacted by participating dentists to arrange appointments,” it states. “However it is too soon to see any impact on the access trajectory as the most current data available relates to October ie prior to commencement of the WL initiative.”