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Dental Services: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL4662, tabled on 18 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with the Care Quality Commission the steps that need to be taken for dental surgeries to safely reopen for emergency dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

8 June 2020

National Health Service dentistry was reorganised in late March along with other NHS primary care services to minimise face to face care to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic. Dentists were asked to suspend all routine treatment and instead to offer urgent advice and, where required, prescriptions for antibiotics by telephone. Urgent treatment was made available through urgent dental centres (UDCs) set up in each NHS region.

As of 25 May there are currently over 550 UDCs open. Patients are triaged into UDCs by their own dentistry or through NHS 111. The UDCs are expected to provide, where urgently needed, the full range of dental treatment normally available on the NHS.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Chief Dental Officer held two workshops in collaboration with the Care Quality Commission and dental sector, at how soon wider NHS dental services can safely reopen.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that NHS dentistry outside urgent care centres will begin to restart from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. A copy of the letter is attached.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care