The British Dental Association has slammed moves by NHS England not to keep dentists and their teams within the NHS flu vaccine programme this year.
Officials have now confirmed the complimentary offer of flu vaccinations for primary care staff will not be extended for 2022/23.
In September 2021 Chief Dental Officer, Sara Hurley, encouraged all dentists to take up the new offer for their own safety and their patients, many of whom are clinically vulnerable. In the previous year, dentists had been invited – in error – to sign up for the programme.
The BDA has consistently pressed for this to be made a permanent arrangement, especially now COVID and flu will be circulating together.
British Dental Association Chair Eddie Crouch said:
"For a fleeting moment it seemed like dentists were finally being treated as part of the NHS family. Sadly the plan to 'Live with COVID' amounts to withdrawing needed protection for our teams and our patients in the years ahead.
"We were told inclusion in this programme was important for both individual and public health. Absolutely nothing has changed in that regard.
"In a bid to save pennies officials are sending a dreadful message to tens of thousands of frontline healthcare workers, and the millions of patients they treat."