May 29, 2020
On the 28th of May, the NHS England published official guidance which sets out next steps for delivery of NHS dental services in England, as the NHS moves into the second phase of the COVID-19 response.
On the 25th of March the NHS wrote to dental practices setting out immediate changes to services due to the overriding need to limit transmission of COVID-19. These included:
- Deferring routine, non-urgent dental care including orthodontics
- Establishing remote urgent care services, providing telephone triage for patients with urgent needs
- Setting up networks of urgent dental care (UDC) sites for face-to-face care where clinically necessary
The publication also states how incredibly grateful the NHS is to the clinicians and professionals who have risen to this challenge in providing remote services and in rapidly establishing over 550 urgent dentalcare sites from existing practices, acute and community facilities across the country to meet
patients’ urgent dental care needs.
Resumption of services
The goal for patients and professionals is to resume the safe and effective provision of the full range of care in all practices, as rapidly as practicable.
Working with the British Dental Association, wider professional representative groups and the dental industry, NHS England has consensus on the commencement of reopening services.
They now support the full resumption of routine dental care, in a way that is safe, operationally deliverable and allows dental practices flexibility to do what is best for patients and their teams. Central to this is the acknowledged clinical judgement of practitioners and their ability to risk manage the delivery of dental care, as service provision is re-commenced.
“Today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday 8 June for all face to face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place.”
Progression to resumption of the full range of routine dental care will be risk-managed by the individual practice and can include aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs), subject to following the necessary IPC and PPE requirements. Dental practices should also take steps to risk assess their workforce and take commensurate actions.
For more information on the full publication and any legal advice on what this could mean for your practice please contact our Head of Healthcare, Jonathan Jacobs, on 0161 667 3681 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for some free advice.