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Important updates from the Chief Dental Officer (CDO)

Shortly before Christmas, the Chief Dental Officer for Scotland wrote to the profession with updates on a few important developments.

CDOs Letter to the profession

The developments cover Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance, COVID-19 self-isolation, staff daily testing and financial support.

  • NHS Scotland published new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dental teams as a result of the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) recently published in Scotland. These SOPs are intended to support dental teams as they work towards recovering services, while ensuring that measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission are applied to support patient and staff safety. (We had previously been told that there would be no revised SOP for dental teams and are seeking clarification from the Scottish Government).
  • The self-isolation policy for healthcare staff who are household or passing contacts of COVID-19 positive cases has been revised. Staff will now be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days as long as they are vaccinated, remain asymptomatic, return a negative PCR test and undertake daily lateral flow testing.
  • From January 2022, dental practices will be provided with lateral flow device testing kits to enable staff to carry out daily testing at no cost to dental teams.
  • Confirmation has been given that the current COVID financial support arrangements for dental practices will remain in place throughout the winter period, and funded PPE for NHS dental care will continue until the end of March 2023.

The announcement of continued PPE supplies for dental practices for an additional year is a welcome development to support the profession in this difficult and uncertain period.

We will continue to raise concerns with the Scottish Government on your behalf, and keep you updated on developments.