Grainne Quinn, Chair of the Northern Ireland Salaried Dentists Committee discusses the latest activity in Northern Ireland in response to COVID-19.
Urgent dental centres
Our CDS practitioners have been instrumental in the setting up of the five Urgent Dental Care Centres in Northern Ireland. The facilities for staff and patients are excellent and the swift establishment of these centres, in what are unprecedented times, is nothing short of incredible. These centres are key to ensuring the well-being and safe treatment of all patients. The collaboration among the dental sectors to bring this to fruition has been inspiring and we are so very grateful. Feedback from our GDS colleagues has been very positive and we are delighted that the two branches of dentistry are working so well together.
I am incredibly proud that the service has managed so well in this time of crisis but not surprised. Every day we witness the unswerving dedication from our staff who provide high quality and compassionate care to the most vulnerable in our society. Your work is very much appreciated by all. Thank you.
As Chair of the NISDC I have been liaising with other employed colleagues across the UK to ensure that the Northern Ireland workforce is kept informed of developments and keeps pace with its UK counterparts.
As has been confirmed in all other areas of the UK we have written to the Director of Workforce in the Department of Health, to ask that CDS appraisals are postponed considering the current circumstances. We await their decision on appraisals and mandatory training and will continue to press for confirmation.
Several other issues have been raised to us including sick leave for those with minimal reckonable service, redeployment, remote prescribing, and other areas of concern for our members. We continue to engage with the Department of Health, Health and Social Care Board and others on a regular basis, to raise the issues that matter to you. We will share any developments with the profession on our live updates page as they develop.
Don't forget the BDA advice team are still on hand to answer your individual staff queries, providing support and advice. Hours have been extended to ensure we can speak with as many of you as possible. If you have concerns about your working conditions, any aspect of your terms and conditions or any work-related grievance, you can receive access to professional support.
You can also find the latest guidance on PPE published jointly by Public Health Agencies across the UK and we will continue to fight to ensure that adequate supplies are available to ensure safe working for all. Check out some useful tips on Urgent Dental Care Centres from GDP Philip McLorinan.
Thank you once again for the incredibly important job you are doing. Please keep supporting each other, supporting the profession, and supporting your patients. We are indebted to your dedication.
Take care everyone.
Chair of the Northern Ireland Salaried Dentists Committee