CONTINGENCY measures have been put in place in Scotland to preserve the integrity of general dental services amidst potential disruption to service provision caused by the escalation of COVID-19 in Scotland.
The chief dental officer in Scotland has written to NHS Boards providing guidance on business continuity and financial support measures to independent contractors providing GDS.
The letter states: “We have agreed that financial support measures will be put in place with immediate effect for independent contractors providing GDS as a result of substantial disruption to service provision due to the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak in Scotland. This recognises that delivery of GDS within a practice will be compromised due to staff shortages, or patients not attending for routine treatment, or a combination of both, and as a result the practice may no longer be financially sustainable.”
All independent dental practices providing GDS are being asked to submit a business continuity plan detailing their service offering in order to assess the level of support.
Practices required to close as a direct result of COVID-19 will direct patients to attend a neighbouring practice for urgent or emergency treatment, or to the nearest public dental service (PDS). NHS Boards are being required to advise practices of the arrangements for referring patients to the PDS.
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