Dental practices in the Midlands will begin to reopen from Monday (8 June) for face-to-face appointments that are pre-booked by phone or email.
For many practices, the reopening is likely to be phased as they undertake the work required to prioritise the safety of patients and staff. Risk assessments are taking place which have identified modifications and working practices that need to be adopted before a full range of dental treatment can be offered.
In this early phase, treatment is likely to be for urgent cases only, and some patients may be referred elsewhere for some treatment.
Some of the changes patients will notice are that they will not be admitted to practices until the time of their appointment; they will have to complete a screening process which could be online or on the phone before treatment begins; waiting areas will be cleared and staff will be wearing appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).
Trish Thompson, Director of Primary Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands said: “Dental care has been disrupted in line with Government advice since 25 March. We therefore commissioned 90 Urgent Dental Care centres across the region to ensure patients had access to urgent/emergency treatment and we are really grateful to all the teams that made this happen.
“We are now pleased to advise that from Monday 8 June dental practices will start to reopen. They will do this is a safe and managed way.
“Patients will notice many changes - all aimed at providing a safe environment and safe services. These precautions will slow the pace at which clinicians are able to work, and we are grateful to all patients for their understanding and cooperation while we progress to a more routine level of dental and hygiene care.”