Dentists in Northern Ireland volunteer to help out in care homes

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Over 70 dentists from Northern Ireland have volunteered to help out in care homes. 

Care homes have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, with many residents vulnerable to infection and severe side-effects due to their age and underlying health conditions. In Northern Ireland, 76 dental professionals have offered to help care workers by providing training and guidance related to infection control measures, use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and swab testing. It is thought that around 40% of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland have occurred in care home settings. 

Dentists and other health workers have stepped forward to assist those already working in care homes following a national appeal. The first group of 76 dentists has now received training, which will enable them to pass on information, skills and guidance, and a second group is due to start training this week (Monday 11th May.)

Dental professionals have agreed to be redeployed as part of the General Dental Services Financial Support Scheme. Staff have been redeployed all over the country, and bolstered workforces will help to increase testing, help with covering shifts in the event of carer absence and provide training.

Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People, called for urgent assistance from health workers and those with relevant training and expertise to tackle the crisis in care homes following a series of outbreaks.

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