On behalf of the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England, Sara Hurley
PHE and the NHS have published the COVID-19: Guidance for the remobilisation of services within health and care settings Infection prevention and control recommendations:
These are UK wide guidelines applying to all heathcare settings, superseding the previous COVID -19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance as we move from a period of high community and hospital prevalence/incidence into a period of low prevalence/incidence with isolated outbreaks identified by each country such as Test and Trace.
Local and national prevalence and incidence data will be used to guide returning services as advised by Country specific/public health organisations.
Table 4 (Recommendations for all settings where COVID-19 transmission is sustained) has been replaced with COVID risk pathways which are based on transmission risks and testing.
The guidance places primary care dentistry in the medium risk pathway, and where AGPs are delivered in the high risk pathway.
For those caring for patients/individuals on the high or medium risk pathways, there is no change in the level of PPE needed to protect staff and in effect this means that the existing IPC guidelines for dentistry remain as presently set out in appendix 1 of the Transition to Recovery SOP
Sessional use of PPE items has been minimised and only applies to extended use of facemasks for healthcare workers.
IPC intend to publish a dental annex which will address any dental specific issues and pick up the recent work of the short life working group on ventilation in dental practices and the forthcoming SDCEP report.