8th December 2021 LDC Update

08 December 2021

    • The CDO wrote to dental practices on 7th December 2021 confirming that primary care dentistry will adopt the Scottish ARHAI guidance on Infection Prevention and Control.
    • This essentially means there is little practical change to how AGPs are approached in General Dental Practice.
    • This is because this Scotland specific guidance requires a negative PCR test within 48 hours of an AGP to allow a move down to Standard Infection Control Procedures (SICPs = standard PPE and no fallow time). There is no mechanism to provide routine PCR tests for dental procedures, therefore there is effectively no practical change to AGP restrictions at this time.
    • This separates Scotland from the rest of the UK
      • Other UK nations have updated their dental SOPs to keep with the Four Nations dental annex recommendations. They have not inserted an additional need for PCR covid testing like Scotland. This means dental AGPs can be provided using standard PPE and no fallow time in the rest of the UK (if patients are appropriately screened on to the non-respiratory path).
    • For the avoidance of doubt, in Scotland only, the guidance is that:
      • Enhanced PPE must continue to be worn for dental AGPs (FFP3, gowns, visors, gloves)
      • Ventilation and Fallow Time must continue to be calculated for dental AGPs
    • This guidance applies to NHS and Private treatment in Scotland
    • Actions you should take in light of new guidance:
      • Your SOP should be updated with the new screening questions found in the guidance
      • Your SOP should be updated to reflect the respiratory / non-respiratory assessment and categorisation of patients.
      • Once assessed, patients who are put on a ‘Respiratory Pathway’ should be deferred until symptoms have resolved, or be scheduled so as to avoid risk to other patients where urgent dental care is required.
      • Dental Team members should be actively encouraged to participate in screening by taking their twice weekly LFD tests.
    • REMEMBER: SICPs (TypeIIr, apron, visor, gloves, no fallow) can still be adopted where red band hand-pieces are used at 60,000 rpm or less, as this is not considered an AGP.
    • There has been relatively low uptake of the available funding so far in GG&C.
    • There are a number of reasons for this, such as:
      • Practices were delaying capital spend in case IPC guidance downgraded AGP restrictions (as stated above, it is now clear that the current restrictions will continue for some time).
      • Many practices are planning to claim but haven’t been able to submit due to delays in ordering, installation, invoicing and receipts.
      • Some practitioners have genuine concern over the commitments attached to the funding.
    • The CDO letter announced a 3 month extension to the availability of the funding, to the end of June 2022.
    • There is an FAQ document that answers the common questions on how ventilation funding works.
    • Please note that GG&C will not pay funding requests until you can provide a detailed invoice for works and evidence that it has actually been paid. You need to submit a receipt or bank statement that demonstrates payment.
    • You will no doubt recall the Cabinet Secretary letter announcing a return to SDR dependency in April 2022. 
    • There have since been a number of meetings hosted by the CDO Team in response to the outcry from all stakeholder groups.
    • As a result of this, and Scotlands departure from the rest of the UK on AGP IPC measures, the CDO and the BDA are currently in sealed negotiations on an interim approach for funding GDPs.
  4. 3% PAY UPLIFT
    • A recent PCA advised of a 3% uplift to be enacted in SDR 153 which came into effect 1 December 2021.
      • The December paid January schedule will include the updated pay award as applied to Covid support payments (calculation detailed in the PCA).
      • A backdated payment will appear in the January paid February schedule.
    • Disappointingly, this uplift does not apply to the allowances and grants that make up a significant proportion of the overall dentists’ pay package, nor does it address the expenses ratio.
  5. GG&C JOBS
    • Simon Locke has been appointed as a Dental Practice Adviser (DPA)  in GG&C. 
    • An advert for 2 GG&C dental practice inspectors went out last month, with a deadline for applications of Friday 10th December.
    • A number of adverts went out for GG&C emergency dental bank staff last month. OHD report that a number of dentists and DCPs responded and they are in the process of carrying out HR processes to induct them.
    • OHD have confirmed that NHS 24 will provide telephone support and GG&C PDS/GEDs will provide emergency dental services on the Christmas and NY public holidays.
    • The official public holidays that are covered are:
      • Monday 27 December
      • Tuesday 28 December
      • Monday 3 January
      • Tuesday 4 January
    • We have been asked to remind practices that they are required to be reachable for dental patient emergencies until NHS 24 telephone cover kicks in at 6pm on both Friday 24th December and Friday 31st December.
      • If you are not booking routine dental patients on these days, you must still ensure emergency patients can be triaged and treated by you or a buddying practice throughout the whole day.
  7. PECOS
    • PPE ordering and delivery dates over Christmas/New Year have changed; the ordering deadline is now midday Friday 10th December. 
    • Deliveries will commence the week beginning 20th December.
    • You will not be able to receive further PPE deliveries until mid-late January so please remember to get your order submitted this week.
  8. GG&C LDC events in 2022
    • GG&C LDC’s AGM will be held online on the evening of Feb 2nd 2022. 
      • All GG&C listed dentists can attend and vote on resolutions
      • Guest speakers will include the Chair of SDPC and GG&C’s Chief of Dentistry, giving updates on the state of play at the time.
    • GG&C LDC’s 2022 elections will take place in the new year.
      • Nomination papers should be emailed out to constituents in February with votes taking place in March 2022
    • GG&C LDC will be hosting a webinar CPD event on the evening of March 9th 2022 
      • This will focus  on alternative treatments for paediatric caries and the new PDS referral pathway. 
      • CPD Allowance will be claimable for a half session.
    • Conference of Scottish LDCs will take place on 22 April 2022