Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, has issued her latest NHS dentistry and oral health update, covering recent announcements and links to current guidance and relevant publications.
The update has been sent out “in light of the Prime Minister’s announcement that from Thursday [5th November] England will enter a period of further national restrictions until 2 December.”
The bulletin includes confirmation from Chief Dental Officer for England that during the period of tighter restrictions dental services will remain open for face-to-face care. This includes delivery of both aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and non-aerosol generating procedures. Dental care is to be delivered in line with the principles set out Transition to Recovery SOP published 27 Oct 2020 and with regard to the recently updated national infection prevention control and the accompanying dental appendix. Priority remains focussed on patients who require access to urgent care, patients at higher risk of oral disease, and patients with outstanding treatment needs that cannot be delayed. All dental practices should continue to provide remote consultations with triage and advice as necessary options. Dental practices will be asked to maintain their support to their local UDC system (face to face as well as remote). Co-ordination of the local UDC system lies with the NHS Local Area Team and all practices are encouraged to remain in close contact with their area teams. The principles for UDC systems and provision of urgent dental care are set out in the revised UDC SOP published 27 Oct 2020.
The CDO explains: “The government’s guidance states that “a number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include […] the NHS and medical services like GPs
“I can confirm that this includes NHS dental services. Therefore, during the period of tighter restrictions practices should remain open to treat patients in line with the standard operating procedure and with regard to the recently updated national infection prevention control dental appendix. Detail on both of these were shared in last week’s update and are repeated below.”