Routine dentistry has been suspended for the peak COVID-19 period with National Health Service urgent dental care provided through a number of urgent dental treatment centres. The suspension of routine dentistry is driven both by the particularly high risk for transmission a number of dental procedures present and, during the lockdown period, the need to support social distancing by reducing footfall.
NHS England is continuing to fully fund dentists for their NHS contracts while the requirement to deliver a given amount of treatment is suspended. As part of the agreement dental practices will provide remote urgent advice, redeploy staff to provide urgent face to face care in one of the 550 urgent dental centres and redeploy other staff to support the wider NHS on COVID-19.
NHS England’s guidance on financial support and the redeployment of staff can be found at the following link:
Private dentistry is independent of the Department and decisions on whether to continue to provide care are a matter for individual practices. However, they are advised by their professional regulator, the General Dental Council, to take careful account of the advice by the Chief Dental Officer that routine dentistry should be suspended. Dentists are being supported to follow this guidance by the financial support available through the Treasury schemes for business owners, the self-employed or salaried individuals. Which scheme applies will depend on the employment status of the individual dentist. Dentists who meet the Treasury criteria can access this support for the private element of their earnings whether or not they also provide NHS care.
NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety.
A copy of the letter that was published can be found at the following link: