Omicron wave – dental practices can submit claim for lost activity due to staff absence

Omicron wave – dental practices can submit claim for lost activity due to staff absenceExceptional circumstances have been announced by NHS England in light of the continued impact of Covid-19 and staff absence.

Where patient activity is lost due to staff absence as a result of Covid-19, dental practices can now submit a claim for this lost activity. This will be credited to the contract.

This comes as the Omicron wave continues to trigger absences across vulnerable sectors such as healthcare and hospitality. Last year, NHS England pushed targets up to 85%, kicking off in January. 

The additional exceptional circumstances will apply to staff absence triggered as a direct result of Covid-19 or self isolation from 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Deadline approaching

Commissioners need to be notified within five working days of the absence. It should also be submitted to the BSA, with regional commissioners copied in. Retrospective claims must be sent by 31 January to be considered.

Evidence that will be asked for includes:

  • Evidence of staff who are advised to self-isolate and proof that they are required to do so. This can be from either test and trace or a test result
  • Evidence that the period of patient care was affected by submitting appointments books for the impacted session. This will demonstrate the UDAs lost due to absence.

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You cannot claim regarding absences for either vacancies or for non-COVID illness. The arrangements also do not apply where patients do not attend as a result of Covid-19.

Once a decision is reached, it will be communicated as well as the rationale for the calculation.

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