An update for the dental team from Sara Hurley

An update for the dental team from Sara HurleyThe chief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, has confirmed that dental teams no longer need to test for Covid-19 following new government guidance.

From 31 August, routine asymptomatic testing will be paused across remaining healthcare settings, including hospitals and care homes.

However, there are a number of instances where testing is deemed appropriate including:

  • High-risk patients identified for Covid-19 MAB and antiviral treatment
  • Symptomatic patients for clinical diagnostic pathway
  • Early release from self-isolation for patients in acute settings
  • Symptomatic or immunocompromised patients who are admitted as an emergency or for maternity care
  • Discharge patients to care homes/hospices.

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Infection prevention

The NHS England letter reads: ‘Local healthcare organisations, with appropriate advice (including from medical directors, nursing directors or directors of infection prevention and control), may also exercise local discretion to continue testing for specific individuals or cohorts in line with broader infection prevention and control measures.

‘Examples of this could include asymptomatically testing staff or patients who are at higher risk of serious illness 3 from Covid-19 and/or those staff who may be in contact with patients who are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19.

‘Return to work protocols for Covid-19 positive staff will remain in place.’

Sara Hurley also confirmed that NHS England are working towards introducing the contract changes announced in the summer.

‘We are currently working on supporting implementation of the first set of contractual changes announced in July 2022,’ she said.

‘As noted in that letter, in parallel with this, we are working on further reform, more details of which are set out below.’

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