A prompt to prepare from OCDO England


  Posted by: The Probe      28th May 2020

The Office of the Chief Dental Officer (OCDO) England has issued a ‘promot to prepare’, offering considerations applicable for safely reopening primary dental care settings. 

While the risk of Covid-19 transmission to staff and patients arising from clinical proximity and the unique aerosol generating procedures involved in dentistry remains a key factor in the temporary suspension of routine dentistry, dental care cannot be postponed indefinitely. Therefore, a sustained reduction in Covid-19 transmission risk will provide an opportunity to safely resume some elements of dental care. 

In preparing for the resumption of routine dental care, practices may wish to consider patient priorities, practice pace, proximity and levels of protection required for the safe delivery of dental care. The prompt to prepare considerations released have been produced by dental practitioners for use in primary care settings to provide guidance, which is due to be published by recognised professional bodies. Dental teams are advised to ensure that they regularly update their knowledge and understanding of the published Covid-19 Public Health England guidance and its application in a dental setting. 

The guidance is laid out in what has been termed a ‘Consideration Pathway’. Practice considerations outlined cover patient flow and practice floorplans, communal areas, supplied and equipment. To ensure safety of staff, training, screening, work schedules and guidance on health and wellbeing is considered. Factors explored for patient care include communication, care plans, and travel to and from the practice. 

“In preparing for the activation of the broader public health conditions that both herald and safeguard our ability to resume routine dental care, ‘prompt to prepare’ offers considerations applicable to primary dental care settings,’ explained Sara Hurley, chief dental officer for England. “There will be inevitable changes with regards to pace, proximity and levels of protection that are required for effective risk management and the safe delivery of dental care. This is the time to review and make the appropriate adjustments to protocols, procedures and practice infrastructure for the safe and effective resumption of routine dental care. Further guidance will follow, these will cover urgent dental care and alternative (non-AGP) evidence-based care planning. 

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