Back-to-Work Guidelines Issued for Dentists

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England’s chief dental officer, Dr Sara Hurley, has released new back to work guidelines for dental professionals. 

As lockdown measures are gradually eased, the CDO is encouraging dentists to start preparing to reopen. With a date now set for dental practices to open, Dr Hurley is keen for practice owners and dentists to ensure that they are ready to welcome patients as soon as possible after the 8th June. 

In her most recent update, Dr Hurley said that there will be changes to ensure the “safe delivery of dental care” and there will be new policies and procedures to protect members of staff and patients. The number of cases of Covid-19 is falling, but it could be months before life returns to ‘normal.’ Dentists and patients should be prepared for a slightly different experience, which is designed to enhance safety and shield everyone who enters the practice setting. 

The back to work guidance provides information and advice related to reducing patient flow and social contact in communal spaces, ensuring practices have access to sufficient PPE supplies, promoting staff training and encouraging owners to take steps to support staff health and wellbeing. Practice staff are also being encouraged to communicate openly with patients to update them on planned changes and to introduce screening measures to lower the risk of spreading the virus. There are also specific guidelines for vulnerable and shielding patients.

Dr Hurley confirmed that more information will be published in the coming days and weeks and urged dental professionals to seek advice and get in touch if they have any queries related to reopening.

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