- Published: Friday, 20 March 2020 12:26
- Written by News Editor
- Hits: 1506
The Chief and Deputy Chief Dental Officers for England have issued their latest update, with the expectation that the profession will ‘exercise clinical judgement’ in applying this guidance. It outlines changes that will apply to practices. Separately the BDA has reported that dentists could be ‘redeployed to support NHS’ and that dentists and their staff are ‘key workers’ when it comes to children attending school.
CDO (NHS England) update
The new CDO update[i] follows a letter[ii], sent by Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard, which set out ‘important actions’ that NHS England are now asking every part of the NHS to put in place to redirect staff and resources.
The update asks dentists to:
- Radically reduce the number of routine check-ups by cancelling patients from vulnerable groups to reduce the need to travel and have close contact with others in waiting rooms and surgeries.
- Agree local arrangements to consolidate, where necessary, the provision of any essential, routine NHS work that cannot be delayed and urgent dental
- Set up mechanisms to establish whether any potential patient or anyone in their household has symptoms, prior to any visit, by phone or text.
- Consider the potential risk of asymptomatic cases attending in this delay phase and reduce exposure of staff and patients to infection by avoiding all aerosol generating procedures wherever possible.
- Clearly display the materials on COVID-19 available on the website above
- Use robust infection control procedures, wiping down surfaces between patients with extra vigilance to include door handles etc. and use standard PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
The update also gives advice on infection prevention, personal protective equipment and the treatment of patients. No specific mention is made of money is made, although contract values will be maintained, even though fewer UDAs will be provided.
The BDA is now publishing live updates[iii] on Coronavirus and dentistry, where Chief Executive, Martin Woodrow, keeps members updated on recent developments.
Today he reports that the BDA has received clear confirmation that dentists and their staff will be designated as key workers during the pandemic. Officials have confirmed that team members meet the criteria set out by the Department for Education earlier this morning, which refers to those children who will still be admitted to schools.
In addition, Martin reports that, as the pandemic develops, it is possible that our profession will be asked to redeploy across the health service to provide extra-ordinary support to an already depleted NHS workforce. He says that there would clearly need to be careful consideration about what roles dentists and their teams might take.
Some news from Twitter
Posted by Dave Cottam late last night
Just come off the phone from @NHSEngland.— Dave Cottam (@DaveCottamGDPC) March 19, 2020
Negotiations on-running over the shape of the financial settlement for GDPs.
No update to the SOP coming this evening, but offered explicit assurances they will be published tomorrow @thebda https://t.co/e3kPiSXEat
followed by a reply to Dave.
If this is so meanwhile a large number of Dentists & Hygienists and their establishments have continued to place themselves and patients at serious risk of infection because no one told them to stop for financial reasons. This can never be considered the actions of professionals.— Andy Egan (@JustSmileAndy) March 19, 2020
Presumably Eddie Crouch following the same news and discussion.
Shocked to hear the reason English dentists have not had same messages as Scotland and Wales is that there are squabbles over the financial support— Eddie Crouch (@EddieCrouch) March 19, 2020
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