Temporary suspension on patient signature requirement extended

Temporary suspension on patient signature requirement extendedPatients will not have to sign dental forms until the 31 August 2021, it has been announced.

The government has again extended the suspension on the need for patients to sign prescription, dental and ophthalmic forms.

This comes as part of continued measures to protect staff and patients from COVID-19 transmission. The guidance was first introduced on 1 November 2020 as part of social distancing measures.

Continued requirement

Patients are still required to pay the relevant charge or prove eligibility if they are exempt.

‘Contractors are asked to complete any parts of the practice record form (PR) or treatment plan (FP17DC and FP17DCO) that would usually be completed by the patient,’ the guidance reads.

‘Patients should be asked to confirm their eligibility for free NHS dental care. Contractors should mark this on the appropriate section of the PR form on behalf of the patient.

‘Patients should continue to be asked to produce evidence of entitlement or practices are asked to mark the form with evidence not seen.

‘Where patients would sign either form, contractors are also asked to annotate the form with “COVID-19“.’

Although currently set to last until 31 August 2021, the guidance will be kept under review and may be extended.

Scrapping UDA system

This comes as the Welsh government confirms it will not return to the UDA system as part of its recovery plan into 2022.

In a written statement, the minister for health and social services, Eluned Morgan, said the country is instead developing and testing four alternative measures.

This falls as part of her mission to strive for ‘more clinically meaningful’ dentistry.

Any changes to the NHS dental contract will not begin before April 2022, she also confirmed.

You can read the details of the guidance here.

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