Scotland’s private dentists can reopen for emergency care, says regulator

22 May, 2020 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Private dentists can now open to see patients for emergency care, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) said today.

In a letter to HIS registered dental practices, the regulator of independent healthcare said it would be sending guidance next week “regarding what Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis looks like for providers”.

It added: “This guidance will indicate that you can carry out aerosol generating procedures as soon as you fully reopen.

“When you consider the treatment an individual requires, you will obviously need to ensure that you have adequate revised infection control procedures in place and PPE that matches the risk.

“In addition, it is essential that you check you have adequate insurance cover.”

The announcement follows the publication on Wednesday by Scotland’s Chief Dental Officer of a plan for the remobilisation of NHS-registered practices and the Scottish First Minister’s unveiling yesterday of ‘Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’.

Earlier this week, Neil Taylor, of Taylor Defence Services, wrote to clients detailing the opinion he had sought from senior counsel on the power of Scotland’s Chief Dental Officer to stop private dentists from practising.

“In my view the dictat of the CDO plainly does not, indeed cannot, prohibit the provision of private dentistry in Scotland,” said the senior counsel.

“However, for obvious reasons – to do with health and safety as well as to do with regulatory requirements – extreme care would need to be taken in such provision.”

Text of the HIS letter in full:

Following guidance sent to NHS Scotland this week, HIS registered dental practices may now open to see patients for emergency dental care.

Further to the First Minister speech yesterday, we continue to be in a lockdown situation until Thursday 28 May 2020 and we would ask that you continue to follow the guidance in the letter to all independent healthcare services from Dr Jason Leitch with reference to the provision of essential primary healthcare only until this date.

Next week, we will be sending out guidance to all HIS registered independent clinics, including dental practices regarding what Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis looks like for Independent Healthcare providers.

This guidance will indicate that you can carry out aerosol generating procedures as soon as you fully re-open. When you consider the treatment an individual requires, you will obviously need to ensure that you have adequate revised infection control procedures in place and PPE that matches the risk. In addition, it is essential that you check you have adequate insurance cover.

If you have any questions, please email hcis.ihcregulation@nhs.net.

Tags: Covid-19 / Healthcare Improvement Scotland / Private Practice

Categories: News

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