COVID-19: Update: A blueprint for safe opening of healthcare

COVID-19: Update: A blueprint for safe opening of healthcare

NHS unions, including the BDA, have issued a blueprint for safe opening of healthcare. They are calling on the UK governments and employers to work with us to deliver our new nine-point blueprint for a safe return to work for NHS staff. BDA meets Health Minister to discuss return to work.

Blueprint

The blueprint has been agreed by 16 NHS trade unions - including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, Unite, GMB and of course, the BDA - and calls for fast, comprehensive and accessible testing, ample supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and for salaried staff to be paid properly for every hour worked.

They all want to avoid a repeat of the PPE supply problems experienced earlier in the pandemic which caused widespread anxiety. Access to readily available PPE is especially important as employers in other parts of the economy begin to open up their workplaces and source protective kit for staff.

Together they represent more than a million staff working in the NHS across the UK, from dentists, porters and nurses to  radiographers, 999-call handlers, cleaners, and paramedics. Our aim is to ensure that, as out-patient clinics and operations resume, the NHS continues to operate a safety-first approach.

NHS England and CDO on returning to work

On Thursday last NHS England and the Office of the Chief Dental Officer hosted the first of a series of meetings to discuss the approach to expanding dental care in England. The BDA was well represented. The session also involved representatives from the Department of Health, General Dental Council, Care Quality Commission, Faculty of General Dental Practice, Faculty of Dental Surgery, Association of Dental Groups and Public Health England as well as patient input via Healthwatch. Health Minister Jo Churchill joined the meeting.

There was a recognition that care should be expanded as early as was safely possible, with a desire for a consistent approach towards the position of both NHS and private dentistry. The pace of movement looks likely to take into account conditions rather than be tied to specific dates. There was a wide ranging discussions about the different potential approaches to developing service provision. The group will meet again next week and we will continue to push for clear communication of the roadmap to enable practices to plan for expanding care.

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

 

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

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