Dentists in Leicester urged to use their ‘clinical judgement’ to decide whether to close during local lockdown

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NHS England has advised dental practice owners in Leicester to use their ‘clinical judgement’ to decide whether to close during the local lockdown.

Following a surge in cases in Leicester, lockdown measures have been reintroduced to try and eliminate the spread of infection. Planned changes, which came into action in other parts of England on Saturday 4th July, have been delayed in Leicester, schools and non-essential shops have closed again and people have been advised against travelling to or from the city. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, confirmed the UK’s first local lockdown in Leicester on June 30th, after testing figures revealed that 10% of all positive cases in England were recorded in the city in the days leading up to the announcement. 

Dental practices in England have been allowed to open since June 8th, but many are offering a restricted range of services and limiting patient numbers. In light of the local lockdown, NHS England representatives have written to dentists in Leicester, advising them that they can choose to remain open or to close temporarily. For those that remain open, additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus are recommended. These include checking patient temperatures on arrival, encouraging robust sanitation and good hand hygiene, using PPE and employing social distancing measures. 

The letter also states that dentists should not be providing routine services, as residents have been encouraged to stay at home where possible. Urgent provision should be prioritised until lockdown measures are eased again in the city.

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