Dental defence specialists MDDUS have today written to all four UK Chief Dental Officers, calling for clarification on the use of face masks in dental practices after Covid-19 restrictions are expected to be eased.
Following recent announcements from the UK Government on the proposed further lifting of restrictions from 19 July onwards, and in relation to the wearing of face masks becoming a matter of personal responsibility from this same date, MDDUS has seen a sharp rise in the number of requests from its dental members for advice on the use of face masks in dental practice settings.
Raising these concerns on behalf of MDDUS members in letters to the UK Chief Dental Officers, MDDUS Head of Dental, Mr Stephen Henderson, said:
“Members have begun to be challenged by patients about the requirement to wear face coverings in the practice setting, leading to complaints and threats of claims under the Equality Act."
“I have written to seek an assurance on behalf of MDDUS members that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be reviewed and revised in the light of the most recent developments. If the SOP is not going to be revised, I have asked that a plan is put in place for some national communications to practices (and patients) to support and help them to explain why it is not appropriate to relax the rules surrounding face coverings in a dental practice setting.”
In response to MDDUS dental member queries, Mr Henderson’s letter also calls on the UK Chief Dental Officers to review the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs) and fallow time, following the roll-out of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.