An update from Jason Wong, Deputy Chief Dental Officer

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  Posted by: The Probe      4th February 2021

Deputy Chief Dental Officer Jason Wong writes in the latestNHS dentistry and oral health update. He urges everyone to record their Covid tests no matter what, discusses a recent assault of a dental professional in practice, and questions whether practices should be restricted to urgent care only, among other topics. You can read the letter below.

The update, which can be viewed here, also highlights Changes to NHS dentistry’s standard operating procedure, Carers, escorts and parents attending treatment with patients, Encouraging dental professionals to take their COVID-19 vaccine, and more.

Dear colleague,

Right now a lot of us are working flat out, I know my team are, so you may be forgiven for missing our changes to the standard operating procedure, which we have summarised below. The key thing to know? Record your Covid-19 test results – even if they are negative or void!

Sadly, we saw this week a member of our profession assaulted in practice. Our minister Jo Churchill said “This is completely unacceptable. No one goes to work to be assaulted. Abuse of any sort against dentists, their teams or other patient facing professions is completely wrong & will not be tolerated”. I couldn’t agree more. I want my colleagues, my friends, my patients, myself, to all be able to be in practice without fear for our safety. I hope our colleague gets well soon.

One question that I have been asked repeatedly is whether we should currently be restricting our practices to urgent care only. My answer to colleagues has been a consistent no. Although there is a need to prioritise urgent care in line with the other settings of the NHS we have been asked to maximise capacity for carrying out essential care for our patients. Where we are able to, we owe it to our patients to address the backlog of urgent and essential care that has built up since March 2020. 

The NHS is also increasing its support offer to those working in NHS dentistry. The Looking After You Too service is now up and running. This is a space for you to offload the demands of whatever you are experiencing and be supported in developing practical strategies for dealing with this. More detail is below.

We’ve also included details on the NHS’ push to take on Covid-19 vaccine con men. The NHS will never charge for the vaccine and there is no need to apply for the vaccine – spread the message! 

When I started as Deputy Chief Dental Officer back in the summer, one of my missions was to improve communication with the frontline. This bulletin is a part of that. I’m very keen to hear from as many people in the dental family on how we can make this bulletin better and the sort of things that you want to hear from us about.

The CDO office is easily reached, just drop us a line at England.CDOExecutive@nhs.net

Al the best,

Jason


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