COVID-19: latest guidance for England
COVID-19 vaccine and priority for dental professionals
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published interim advice on prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccination. This advice includes priority for the vaccination of all health and social care workers. The JCVI’s interim advice is available on the gov.uk website.
The latest information for dental professionals is available from the NHS England website.
This includes their standard operating procedure, Transition to recovery, a phased transition for dental practices towards the resumption of the full range of dental provision, produced with the Office for Chief Dental Officer England.
Public Health England
Your primary source of guidance on infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be Public Health England.
On 20 October the COVID-19: infection prevention and control dental appendix was published, containing updated, UK-wide guidance for NHS, private and independent dental settings.
For guidance on fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak please see the Health and Safety Executive website.
Department of Health and Social Care
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has approved an extension to an existing temporary measure in England to help limit the transmission of COVID-19 by suspending the need for patients to sign prescription, dental and ophthalmic forms. The suspension has been in place since 1 November 2020 and is now extended for a further 2 months until 31 August 2021.
The Office for Chief Dental Officer England
The Office for Chief Dental Officer England sent a letter to dental teams on the 22 December detailing contract arrangements from 1 January to 31 March 2021 (Q4).
On 11 November the CDOs of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland released a joint letter to the UK dental profession outlining guidance and support available through the second COVID-19 wave.
The Office for Chief Dental Officer England (OCDO England) announced on the 27 October that the revised standard operating procedure for urgent dental centres has been published. They incorporate the recently published COVID-19: infection prevention and control dental appendix issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC),Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Scotland, Public Health England and NHS England.
The Office for Chief Dental Officer England also published further guidance, A Prompt to Prepare, outlining considerations to take into account when preparing to resume routine dental care services. Read the CDO England statement and the full A Prompt to Prepare document for more information.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Following on from previous coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, sent to all dental providers, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) wrote to confirm the current position.
The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) and College of General Dentistry (CGDent)
The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) and College of General Dentistry (CGDent) have published Dentistry during COVID-19: Psychological advice for dental teams, policy makers, and communicators.
Developed by psychologists from the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Health Psychology, it offers straightforward suggestions to address common challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in dental practices, and lists resources and organisations which can support dental professionals’ mental wellbeing.