Dental professionals could be called upon to boost NHS effort to fight coronavirus

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Dental professionals could be called upon to boost NHS staff numbers in the fight against coronavirus.

The British Dental Association has suggested that dental professionals could be redeployed to aid health workers in other parts of the NHS. Martin Woodrow, chief executive of the BDA, said that it was possible that dental staff could be asked to provide support and assistance to bolster the NHS workforce, which will be stretched to the limits in coming weeks due to the spread of coronavirus. 

Speaking about the potential move, Mr Woodrow said that the ways in which dental workers could help would be evaluated carefully. The BDA will be involved in discussions with health ministers and NHS representatives.

Dentist, Neel Kothari, from High Street Dental Practice, said that the latest announcement from the government on the role of health workers across the spectrum and retired medical professionals underlines the gravity of the situation. Dr Kothari said that many dentists might be worried about the prospect of getting involved, but encouraged colleagues to think about how they could use their skills and training to help fellow health workers. In essence, she said, the country is planning for a war without actually being engaged in conflict. 

The news comes as dental professionals were confirmed as key workers in the government’s recent list, which enables them to continue sending their children to school. With schools shut, having this option will allow dental professionals to keep treating patients in urgent need and to consider the possibility of providing backup for health workers in other parts of the NHS.

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