Scottish government reviews timescale for decontamination rules

The announcement that the timescale for compliance with new decontamination guidelines in Scotland is under review has been greeted as a ‘first step in the right direction’ by the British Dental Association (BDA).

The decision follows lengthy discussions between the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC) and Scottish Government Health Department about the difficulties many dentists face complying with the guidelines.

In a letter to dentists across Scotland, Chief Dental Officer (CDO) Margie Taylor acknowledges that it is prudent to provide a revised set of timescales for compliance, taking full account of the emerging evidence of constraints relating to equipment and premises.

The letter also reports the intention of the CDO to establish a group to develop an updated action plan to provide realistic timescales.

Colin Crawford, Chair of SDPC, said: ‘This is an issue that is causing serious anxiety for all dentists, in particular for those that own their own practice.

‘The decision to reassess the timescale for compliance with these guidelines is a sensible one that acknowledges the practical difficulties facing dentists across Scotland.

‘However, the BDA is still very concerned about the level of compliance being sought by the Scottish Government Health Directorate and the slim evidence base for the implementation of the measures.

‘It is important that the BDA is involved in the group to develop an updated action plan for decontamination.’

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