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In the news week commencing 6 April 2020

National and local media coverage we've received week commencing 6 April.

Saturday 11 April

Belfast Telegraph - Dentists donate oxygen as surgeries forced to close

Dentists have donated oxygen to hospitals across Northern Ireland ahead of the imminent Covid-19 surge. It comes as thousands of patients are expected to need assistance breathing as they battle the effects of the deadly virus.

Richard Graham, chair of our Northern Ireland committee, warned that patients will only be seen in exceptional circumstances. We have been so impressed with the number of dentists who have volunteered to help provide this service, they are so keen to continue to treat and care for patients.

Wednesday 8 April

BBC Radio Solent: Urgent dental centres need to be up and running ASAP
An interview, our vice chair of the board, Eddie Crouch said information for dentists came little and late relative to other countries in the UK. In the end, Eddie said that dentists started adopting the advice that was published in Scotland and Wales, which came out earlier and was more thorough. Commenting on the newly emerging urgent dental centres, Eddie warned that these hubs would be small and said we need to get these up and running as soon as possible so that patients with severe toothache aren’t suffering unnecessarily.
Not yet available on BBC Sounds

BBC News Online: Thousands in England unable to access urgent services
BBC News Online quoted us saying that dentists in England are being bombarded by calls from patients in real pain, but there is often nowhere to send them. We explained that only a tiny number of these sites have been set up so far. Urgent dental care centres are designed to provide care for people with urgent and emergency dental problems, after a referral from their local practice.

Tuesday 7 April

Dentists frustrated over inability to treat patients as patients wait for urgent dental centres to emerge

BDA spokesperson and Devon-based dentist Ian Mills was interviewed for a piece about patients in the south-west struggling to access dental treatment on the BBC's Spotlight lunchtime news programme. He said that dentists were really frustrated that they can't help patients and give them the treatments they desperately need to get out of pain and discomfort. He said he hopes the Local Area Team will get the urgent dental centres up and running as soon as possible. The presenter highlighted that NHS England have said they have identified 15 sites across the south-west for urgent dental treatments centres, and as soon as they get the right protective equipment, they will open those. The programme flagged the dental helpline, tel 0333 00 6300, email, or said patients should contact their local dentist for advice.

Monday 6 April

Clarity at last as staff in mixed dental practices can now be furloughed

Saturday's Telegraph reported that the wider dental team in practices that provide both private and NHS services can now be furloughed. We had been warning government that without such help thousands of practices were in fear of financial oblivion. Our chair, Mick Armstrong, welcomed the clarification. "Access to the scheme had not appeared an option for employers receiving public funding from the NHS. The BDA has been pressing NHS England to offer assurances that mixed NHS/private practices could have access to wider government support to cover private work as well as support from the NHS. This flexibility will offer a lifeline to many practices still facing a deeply uncertain future."

This means that the government will pay 80 per cent of an employee's salary up to £2500 per month. Practices will have to provide evidence of how much of their revenue comes from private clients.