Highlights from the second dentistry webinar hosted by Sara Hurley and Matt Neligan


England’s chief dental officer, Sara Hurley and director of primary care and system transformations, Matt Neligan, have delivered the second 45-minute live webinar on what impact the NHS response to Covid-19 is having on the dental industry. Ms Hurley said: “This is not a lone wolf battle. This is myself working with a myriad of many other individuals and there is a lot to do. I also know that a lot of you share personal loss that Covid-19 has brought. Individuals have lost loved ones and we’ve been unable to say our goodbyes. I know we are going to emerge from Covid as a resilient profession.”

They spoke about the decision made to halt all routine dentistry. It was not an easy one to make but it was made knowing a plan would be needed on how to return. Whilst there is no fixed date for a return at the moment, and it is looking increasingly likely that the situation will continue past June, NHS England will ensure dental practices are given reasonable notice when it comes to reopening.

“ I know we are going to emerge from Covid as a resilient profession“

Whilst there are some testing problems with FFP2 masks, they are now available along with FFP2 masks, goggles, visors and aprons, whilst gowns are still in short supply. Other matters raised included a new BDA/NHS England collaboration on replacing the current manual UDC regional report with a pan-England UDC reporting tool from May, and it was reiterated that NHS England can only adjust NHS financial arrangements, and practices with a private division can apply for government support for that private part. Also raised was the fact that dental professionals now finding themselves on the frontline or in urgent dental care centres are now eligible for Covid-19 testing and key worker status, and that NHS England are making every effort to have this extended to the wider dental sector.

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