Sara Hurley CDO speaks out on second lockdown

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The chief dental officer for England has confirmed that NHS dental services will remain open during the UK’s second lockdown.

In her latest news bulletin, Sara Hurley said dental practices should remain open to treat patients over the next four weeks.

Dental teams should carry out treatments in line with the latest standard operating procedure (SOP) as well as recently-updated infection prevention control guidance.

The updated SOP allows for a reduction in fallow time if practices meet the necessary ventilation and mitigation requirements.

New national measures

When six to nine air changes take place each hour (ACH), a baseline fallow period of 20 minutes is recommended. Additionally, this can be reduced to just 15 minutes if there are 10 or more ACH.

The government is again calling for the public to stay home to save lives. Households can leave for limited reasons, including for education, work if it cannot be done from home, outdoor exercise and medical appointments.

Additional measures during the second lockdown include:

  • Households cannot mix indoors unless they are part of an ‘exclusive’ support bubble
  • Meetings outdoors restricted to just one person from another household. Meetings cannot take place in gardens
  • A ban on most outbound travel
  • A closure of all businesses except essential shops and education settings. Construction and manufacturing can stay open, while takeaway and delivery services are allowed
  • Ban on weddings and civil partnership ceremonies except in ‘exceptional circumstances’
  • Funerals limited to 30 people.

On Thursday (5 November) at 16:30, Dr Hurley will host a webinar on the recent infection prevention control guidelines. Representatives from Public Health England (PHE) – as well as deputy chief dental officers Eric Rooney and Jason Wong – will join her.


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