- Published: Tuesday, 05 January 2021 11:22
- Written by News Editor
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The Chief Dental Officer for England, Sara Hurley, has written to dentists to say that dental services are to remain open and see patients, during the period of new restrictions. Meanwhile Dave Cottam, chair of GDPC, has written to Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, asking him to abandon the 45% activity targets, with immediate effect.
The Chief Dental Officer repeats Government advice that, during this period of lockdown, "The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists".
Sara Hurley continues: “Remote consultation, triage and risk assessment remain key prior to patient attendance for face to face dental care. Social distancing measures remain in place. And PPE levels as stated for low, medium and high risk assessed patients remain. In line with the standard operating procedure, within the available capacity, when recommencing deferred courses of treatment, recall and re-assessments practices will need to prioritise groups with the greatest need, such as children.
“Dentistry is an essential medical service. It is a priority for the NHS. Patients are entitled to travel for medical appointments, include dental”, she concludes.
Link to CDO letter:
In a strong letter to Matt Hancock, Dave Cottam wrote that under current arrangements practices will face steep financial penalties if they fail to reach their targets of 45% of pre-Covid activity in the January-March quarter. Patient non-attendance will become commonplace, he says, as will dentists and their teams being unable to work due to infection or self-isolation. Practice will be put at risk if financial penalties are imposed due to practice closures due to illness, isolation coupled with patients being told to stay at home.
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