What do local lockdowns mean for dentistry in Wales?
As counties across Wales are thrown into local lockdowns, the chief dental officer has spoken out about the implications for dental practices.
Today, it was announced that Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) will be subject to new restrictions following an increase in cases. Over the last week, the county has a rate of 82.1 infections per 100,000 people.
This follows the first local lockdown imposed on Caerphilly last week.
The CDO for Wales, Colette Bridgman, has said the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) remain in place for practices in restricted counties.
Prioritise routine care
According to the BDA, she emphasised that there is no need for dentistry to return to a red or heightened amber alert – unless practices fall under a higher risk category.
The Welsh government has confirmed that travel in areas that are on lockdown is permitted for healthcare appointments.
Additionally, the CDO asks that all practices providing NHS care prioritise urgent needs before continuing routine checks.
The latest SOP can be read here.
More work to be done
This comes as the profession speaks about the key concerns of mixed and private practices.
Owain Dimmick, of the Independent Dental Association Wales (IDAW) spoke to Dentistry Online about the obstacles they face.
‘The majority of mixed and private practices in Wales (probably across the UK too) are feeling very vulnerable at the moment,’ he says.
‘Thankfully, we are not currently facing the immediate threat of bankruptcy. We did, perhaps, in late March through to July.
‘The IDAW applied significant pressure on Welsh government by directly questioning their policies and the initially very restrictive SOP.
‘We have since worked with the CDO for Wales and managed to bring down fallow times. We are grateful that she has listened to our concerns.
‘The current SOP is clearly an improvement over its predecessor – but there is still more work to be done.’
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