COVID-19: Update: July 4th 2020 return to work for UK dentists?

COVID-19: Update: July 4th 2020 return to work for UK dentists?

The Prime Minister has followed up his address to the nation by publishing its 60-page Covid-19 recovery strategy. It does appear that the earliest that dental practices could resume anything like normal service is July 4 2020. This will be up to NHS to decide in all four countries. The Chancellor will make a statement tomorrow on the financial implications.

The Government has published[i] a paper: OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. It is hedged around with caveats, but it does appear as if the earliest that dental practices (NHS, private or mixed) could resume anything like normal service is July 4 2020 – and then only with protective equipment and observing social distancing ie fewer patients.

However, in the meantime the NHS is intending to increase the numbers and scope of Urgent Treatment Centres. The Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing of recovery, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved, which could include dental practices from an earlier date than July 4.

Resumption of routine dentistry depends on advice issued by NHS and timing of this may be different in all countries. Advice should be issued by chief dental officers in coming weeks.

The BDA says: “Discussions are taking place across the UK about how dentistry emerges from the lockdown however, until we are advised otherwise, we are working under the assumption that the existing advice for practices still applies. This means practices are still to treat initially via advice, analgesics and antibiotics where appropriate, and to triage care into the various urgent care systems.”

To keep up to date with developments from the BDA, dentists should visit their Coronavirus update page[ii], which is available to all whether or not they are members and is continuously revised.

[i]  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884171/FINAL_6.6637_CO_HMG_C19_Recovery_FINAL_110520_v2_WEB__1_.pdf

[ii] https://bda.org/advice/Coronavirus/Pages/latest-updates.aspx

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