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Coronavirus: advice for associates

Here we give advice to associates on COVID-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus.

If you think you may have COVID-19

If you have a new, continuous cough and/or a temperature of 37.8 degrees or higher, you should self-isolate and go to the dedicated NHS website or call 111. You should let your practice know you are doing this. If you are confirmed to have COVID-19, you should follow medical advice and let the practice know immediately.


Associates in NHS practice

All practices should seek to maintain a basic service, that is providing telephone advice, triaging and writing prescriptions for analgesia and medication where appropriate. NHS 111 is overloaded and we have a duty to reduce pressure on the system wherever possible.


Associates should work with practice owners to agree cover for emergency work.


Associates in NHS practice should note that as NHS staff, they may be redeployed to other areas. See your nation's most recent guidance (question 2) for the most up-to-date information on this.


The country you live in may affect your position in other ways. We advise you to review the latest guidance available for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (question 2). You should also review our information on the financial impact of the crisis on NHS Associates. Both of these pages are updated as often as possible. For the absolute latest, please see our live updates page.


Associates in private practice

The vast majority of associates in general dental practice are self-employed. If you are, we urge you to review your associate agreement and familiarise yourself with your rights.


We recommend you read the latest information on government support for the self-employed.


We are awaiting to see what support the Government will offer to self-employed people. We are in discussions with DHSC and we are campaigning on your behalf. We will let you know as soon as further information becomes available.


You may have insurance to cover you for sickness absence. We recommend you check your own insurance policies.


Associates and practice owners working together

This is a very difficult time for everyone, not just dentists, not just medical staff; the whole country. Associates and practice owners will have some competing commercial interests. That said, we ask the dental community to act responsibly and reasonably towards each other and to discuss commercial matters constructively and professionally.


Reach out for support

We're here to help and we encourage you to reach out for support. Members suffering from stress can receive counselling and emotional support through our Health Assured service.


If you are worried they cannot meet their current personal household expenditure can apply to the BDA Benevolent Fund for financial assistance.


Extra and Expert members may call the BDA advice teams for further advice.