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​Northern Ireland: New Conscious Sedation Guidelines 

3 October 2022

We welcome a recent letter to the profession from the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) confirming that the Department of Health (DoH) has endorsed the third edition of SDCEP Conscious Sedation in Dentistry

We acknowledge and appreciate the work by Michael Donaldson in convening a short life working group, and to Caroline Lappin, CDO for getting this important issue satisfactorily resolved. The focus for the DoH must now be on ensuring access to, and funding for, the requisite training, so essential services to anxious adults and children are secured as soon as possible.

The guidance applies to both inhalation sedation and intravenous sedation techniques and will be effective from 1 November 2022. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority will amend their inspection methodology to reflect the guidance for inspections from 1 December onwards.

We have been concerned for some time about our outlier status regarding Conscious Sedation Guidelines and the wholly unsatisfactory position this has left practitioners in. The issue has been raised by our community dentists in multiple conversations with DoH officials and taken forward by NI Council to the highest levels nationally.