2nd September GG&C LDC Update

02 September 2020

Local Lockdown; FFP3 Masks; VT; Flu Vaccinations

    • On Tuesday 1st September the First Minister announced a ‘local lockdown‘ in Glasgow City, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
    • This began at midnight and is to last 2 weeks (with weekly reviews)
    • The temporary restrictions are summarised in a recent GG&C core brief.
    • Assuming the precedent set in Aberdeenshire etc, dental practices can remain open providing urgent care in line with Phase 3b of the CDO remobilisation plan.
    • The LDC recommend continued adherence to robust SOPs,  bearing in mind the increased rate of community spread when risk assessing patients and procedures.
    • There has been much press about the revalidated 3M 1863 masks provided by NSS to NHS dental practitioners providing urgent AGPs in phase 3b.
    • On 28th September the BDA advised that dentists should stop using these masks while the robustness of the revalidation process is challenged.
    • Today we received further assurances from NSS and the GG&C Chief of Dentistry that these masks are considered safe and effective.
      • These masks have been in use throughout the pandemic in various frontline services, including those working directly with known covid patients.
      • There have been no reported issues with these masks to date.
    • Ultimately it is up to practices and individuals to decide which of these contradictory views to accept.
    • If practices choose not to accept the revalidated masks, alternatives can be sourced and fit tested independently.
    • Practices who opt to delay providing NHS AGPs in light of this are still expected to make a meaningful contribution to the UDCCs (who incidentally have been and will likely continue to be using the same masks)
    • Dental practices will soon be offered the chance to opt in to a fee-per-item vaccination programme where GDPs would be administering vaccinations for seasonal flu to patients.
    • The LDC view this as an excellent example of how dentists can  continue to support our colleagues in the wider NHS.
    • Further details are expected in the coming weeks.
  4. UDCCs
    • From 30th July, all practices in GG&C should be open and providing their own ‘nonAGP’ urgent care for their patients. UDCCs are no longer accepting nonAGP patients.
    • From 17th August practices could start providing their own NHS urgent care AGPs where they have adequate facilities, PPE and SOPs.
    • Practices providing their own AGPs should cease referring to the UDCCs unless a patient is on the Covid Pathway (for patients with suspected coronavirus and acute dental needs).
    • Nominated UDCC dentists:
      • If your practice is providing ALL of your own urgent care (including AGPs) then it is reasonable to reduce/cease provision of a nominated dentist to work at an AGP site (please do not withdraw without agreeing a timescale with the administrators).
      • If your practice is currently NOT providing AGPs then there is an expectation that you or your buddy grouping will have a nominated dentist providing AGPs at a UDCC site currently.
      • The CoD letter indicates an intention to move towards a situation where dentists book time at a UDCC to provide AGPs for their own patients where they cannot be provided in practice.
    • This years vocational training programme started at the later date of September 1st 2020.
    • The programme will have a greater proportion of study days at the start of the year.
    • Phantom heads have been provided to training practices to  provide additional in-house clinical skills development.
    • VDPs are able take part in AGPs where practices are offering phase 3b urgent care.
    • The CDO confirmed that financial support has been made available for the 2019-2020 cohort of vocational dental practitioners moving into associate posts.