6th April 2022 LDC update

06 April 2022

    • Only a third of the GDPs in GG&C actively support their LDC.
    • Every single dentist has a vested interest in the activities of their elected representatives. The more support we have, the stronger a voice we have.
    • Please take the time to complete a mandate to support the continued work of GG&C LDC. The process is entirely online and takes no more than a minute.
    • It is important to note that if you have moved practice or changed list number, your previous mandate will no longer be active and you should sign a new one with each change. If in doubt, sign one anyway. Duplications are automatically voided so there is no risk when signing another.
    • You can check if you are an active supporter by checking the levy on line 28 of your eSchedule.
    • The CDO wrote to dental teams on 1st April to advise that the IPC restrictions for AGPs for non-respiratory patients can be scaled back with immediate effect.
    • This was followed by an updated SOP and covering letter on 4th April.
    • Summary of SOP:
      • Patients must still be screened to determine if they are Respiratory or Non-Respiratory pathway patients.
      • Respiratory pathway patients:
        • These are patients that are currently covid positive, currently experiencing covid symptoms, or a high risk positive contact as described in the updated SOP.
        • They should be deferred where possible, or segregated and put to the end of a session if urgent treatment is necessary.
        • For AGPs
          • Enhanced PPE (Gowns, FFP3, Visor, gloves)
          • Fallow time still applies
      • Non-respiratory pathway patients:
        • These are patients that are well, and have passed the screening questions and risk assessment in the SOP
        • For all treatment, including AGPs:
          • Standard PPE can now be worn  (Type IIr, Visor, Apron, Gloves).
          • Team members can still choose to wear FFP3 based on a personal risk assessment 
          • No fallow time
        • Ventilation and other mitigation should still be maximised throughout AGPs, although no fallow time.
      • Waiting rooms:
        • Social distancing in waiting rooms is no longer required  (unless a patient on the respiratory pathway is present) 
        • Patients must still wear masks when attending the practice, unless exempt.
        • Glass/perspex screens are currently installed in practice reception areas. No guidance has been issued as to whether these are still a requirement. The LDC are seeking advice from the Board. We recommend they stay in place until advised otherwise.
      • Staff areas:
        • Social distancing in staff areas is no longer a requirement.
        • Staff should still wear masks in all practice areas unless eating/drinking.
        • Staff should be vigilant given the ease of transmission of current Covid-19 variants, e.g. regular hand sanitisation and wiping down touch-points in staffrooms etc.
      • Self-isolation/return to work
        • Twice weekly LFD tests should continue for staff.
        • No updated guidance has come out regarding self-isolation following a positive test.
        • The previously circulated guidance on returning to work remains in place as far as we know. We have again sought clarity from the board.
        • The GG&C consultant in public dental health can be contacted for advice if there are any significant outbreaks within your practice. Their details can be found on our contact list
    • It is well understood that practices have had issues storing the large volumes of enhanced PPE that IPC restrictions previously required for AGPs.
    • It is also recognised that practices had ordered stocks immediately prior to the de-escalation of IPC guidance.
    • Current advice from the Board is to significantly reduce the quantity of enhanced PPE you order via PECOS going forward, whilst running down your current supply.
    • You will need to maintain a limited stock of enhanced PPE for respiratory pathway patients.
    • However, the LDC are consulting with the board around alternative solutions, including the possibility of returning excess stock so it can be redeployed or stored.
    • Please await further information from the board, by monitoring your generic mailbox.
    • Although IPC restrictions are de-escalating with current variants, there is a strong possibility they may re-escalate in the face of a more severe respiratory virus.
    • The Covid FSM funding has now been withdrawn and Scottish Government have strongly signalled that any support offered going forwards will be directly related to the level of activity in practices.
    • Those practices who would be unable to maintain activity under such restrictions should still seriously consider taking advantage of the funds available while they still can. 
      • Details of how to access this funding have been sent to generic practice mailboxes.
      • You should express your interest as a matter of urgency to GDSadmin@ggc.scot.nhs.uk 
      • It is also worth bearing in mind that it is likely 10ACH ventilation could become a standard requirement in all dental surgeries.
    • The residual money from the GG&C allocation of ventilation and red band funding will be redistributed if not claimed by the 30th June deadline.
      • The LDC are consulting with GG&C OHD on how this can be achieved fairly.
    • It is confirmed that the 0.7 multiplier will still go ahead from 1st April 2022 for 3 months, whereupon it will be reviewed (and likely reduced). 
    • The FAQ on the revised payment arrangements has now been published. 
    • This sets out in more detail how the 0.7 multiplier payment will work.
    • The multiplier payment will be calculated on the gross IoS fees paid in each month (Line 3 + Line 37 on your Account 7 payment schedule). Therefore, if a practice has gross IoS fees of £3,000 paid in May, then they would receive those fees and a multiplier payment of £2,100.
    • We understand that a final Covid FSM payment will be made March paid April
    • We understand that all valid claims submitted after the March paid April cut-off will then be included in the multiplier calculation for April paid May.
    • The LDC are aware that some labs have recently increased their prices more than usual.
      • This could be because they are aware of the multiplier payment. 
      • The LDC are very aware that NHS dental labs have struggled disproportionately as a direct result of the Scottish Government’s approach. We therefore broadly support our dental technician colleagues in their efforts to recover their losses.
      • However, we have very real concerns that in the absence of the multiplier, dentists would now suffer a net financial loss when providing a lab-fee-generating treatment item.
        • This raises serious concerns about both the morality and legality of dentists being required to provide services that are fundamentally  detrimental to their business viability.
        • SDPC share our concerns and are making urgent representations to Scottish Government.
    • Further to our March update, it has now been announced by Scottish Government that 3rd June will be a public holiday after all.
    • The LDC are pressing GG&C HB to clarify whether this will now be covered by GEDS and NHS 24, otherwise practices will still be required to cover their own emergencies during contracted opening hours.
    • As always, please monitor your generic inboxes for updates from the Board.
    • The main activity of the Scottish Dental Reference Service has resumed.
    • The notorious ‘brown envelopes’ are no longer used. All NSS communications, including DRO notifications, will be sent to your NHS email.
    • It is essential you check your nhs.scot email regularly or you may miss DRO notices.
    • The conference of Scottish LDCs will take place on Friday 22nd April 2022.
    • Representatives from all the Scottish LDCs meet to set the political agenda for the Scottish Dental Practice Committee for the coming year.
    • The CDO team will be represented and addressing the conference.
    • More information can be found on their website including the motions that are being brought forward by the various LDCs