Dental Practices to Remain Open During England’s Next Pandemic Lockdown

Dentistry Today


As England prepares for another four-week pandemic lockdown beginning on November 5, the government has named dentists essential workers who can continue to practice. However, the British Dental Association (BDA) is urging the government to deliver better communications with healthcare agencies and the wider workforce.

National Health Service (NHS) England has confirmed that access to dental care will remain during the lockdown and that public health measures announced by the Prime Minister on October 31 will permit travel for access to dental care. England’s chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, has said that dental practices can remain open as well.

“I can confirm that this includes NHS dental services,” Hurley said. “Therefore, during the period of tighter restrictions, practices should remain open to treat patients in line with the standard operating procedure and with regard to the recently updated national infection prevention control dental appendix.”

Practices had reported deep uncertainty and have already received high volumes of patient queries regarding the status of appointments, the BDA said. The BDA also said that it has been seeking urgent clarification on the status of dental services, given the suspension of face-to-face care during the first lockdown.

Dental services are continuing to operate at a fraction of their former capacity due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the BDA continued. The BDA has urged patients not to cancel booked appointments and to continue to seek care as required.

“We finally have confirmation that all dental practices will stay open during the coming lockdown. Given the rigorous safety protocols we are working to, there never should have been any doubt,” said BDA chair Eddie Crouch.

“No health professional should have been left in the dark on whether they could open their doors on Thursday. That clear guidance wasn’t available at the outset, reflects the disconnect we’ve seen across government since the start of this pandemic,” Crouch said.

“At times like this, Downing Street has a responsibility to keep its own departments, agencies, and healthcare workers in the loop. Failure to do so has sent the wrong message to millions of patients who need our care and to practices struggling to stay afloat,” said Crouch.

“Patients need to know their local dentists are open and safe. If you have an appointment booked, please don’t miss out,” Crouch said.

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