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Coronavirus: Progress on key areas in Scotland

Blog Author Dr Phil Grigor, BDA Scotland National Director

Blog Date 16/04/2020

It’s been another very busy week. But I’m happy to be able to report progress on financial support for dentists in Scotland and some clarification on redeployment and PPE.

Coronavirus: Progress on key areas in Scotland

Financial support for dentists

Our Scottish Dental Practice Committee has been campaigning on your behalf. After extensive liaison with the Chief Dental Officer, the Scottish Government has issued a revised funding package for NHS dentists which will provide 80% of the average income from items of service and patient contributions. The following will also continue to be paid in full: capitation and continuing care payments; GDPA; rent reimbursement; and commitment payments.
The Scottish Government has clarified that mixed dental practices that receive NHS support funding, can also apply for support from other government sources to cover the private element of their income. However, you should note these latter claims should be proportionate to the amount of private dentistry delivered.

We’ve pulled together a summary of the sources of financial support currently available to dentists in Scotland during the pandemic crisis. We also included details of other financial support, including local support grants, non-domestic rates support, and details of the UK-wide Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-employed Income Support Scheme.
"We’re also pushing harder than ever for additional financial support for private dentists"

We’re also pushing harder than ever for additional financial support for private dentists, both at a Scottish and UK level. We’re making the argument that dentists in private practice are essential to the ongoing oral health of the nation and cannot continue to be neglected. 

Redeployment of dental teams 

The Chief Dental Officer for Scotland has written to dentists and their teams to ask for their support in the overall NHS Scotland response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You’ll probably already know that dentists and their teams have not only been asked to volunteer to support their local NHS Boards, but that this is a condition of NHS financial support. 

The range of settings where dental staff may be required includes: Urgent Dental Care Centres; community testing and COVID-19 HUBS and assessment centres; supporting vulnerable people with COVID-19; and supporting nursing and community pharmacy colleagues. We have been given assurances that, if redeployed, you will be indemnified in line with other NHS staff.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) update

Health Protection Scotland has just published revised official PPE guidance on its website (the dental care section is on page 13), including a separate appendix on infection prevention and control in urgent dental care settings. I recommend you read our tips for working in Urgent Dental Centres in case of redeployment. 

As in other parts of the UK, we are concerned about the availability of appropriate PPE in the Urgent Dental Care Centres and other settings. It is unacceptable that dentists and other healthcare workers may be putting themselves at risk through a lack of suitable PPE.

We’ll continue to campaign on behalf of dentists and their patients in Scotland. It’s a time of crisis and so it’s more important than ever that we stand together. For the latest on our work, please see our Coronavirus Live Updates page. 

Dr Phil Grigor, BDA Scotland National Director

Dr Phil Grigor
BDA Scotland National Director

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