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24th August 2021 GG&C LDC Update

    • The Cabinet Secretary for Health wrote to dental practices on 20th August setting out the implementation of free dental care for 18-25 year olds in Scotland from 24th August 2021 
    • PCA(D)(2021)4 details the relevant actions that are required
    • PSD guidance advised that open courses of treatment for patients 18-25 should be closed and sent dated 23rd August 2021
    • New GP17pr forms will be distributed to practices in due course with a new exemption box for 18-25 yr old patients (replacing '18 and in full time education'- which is now irrelevant).
    • The Cabinet Secretary also advised of upcoming funding for the provision of red banded handpieces.
    • The theory is that red banded (speed increasing) handpieces used on an appropriate electric motor (ie not air-powered) do not aerosolise fluids to the same extent and are therefore not AGP. This means that you could use these red banded handpieces instead of a high speed.
      • If not AGP, then standard ICP applies (visor, apron, TypeIIr, gloves and no fallow time)
    • Reportedly,  they have similar power to a high speed air rotor.
      • You must check with the manufacturer/supplier what the maximum rotor speed to be used will be (some say 60,000 max or becomes AGP).
      • You may have to retrofit an appropriate electric motor in order to use these handpieces on your dental unit or use a portable unit.
      • Water must still be used to protect pulps and prevent overheating.
    • These handpieces are expensive, as are the motors that power them. 
      • The funding arrangements are expected to be announced in coming weeks.
      • VT practices may be able to claim DetX allowances for VT surgery kit, speak to your scheme advisor.
    • Practitioner services emailed the primary list number holder at each practice with practice activity reports last week, these can be shared with all members of the team.
    • The reports are practice-wide and do not include VT activity. 
    • They are based on a rolling 3 month average for the whole practice compared with the test period as at 29th Feb 2020.
    • PSD have provided an explanatory document showing what the numbers mean.
    • If your practice average is below 20% you should actively engage with the Oral Health Directorate to provide details of mitigating circumstances on 0141 2014210
      • Although tiered financial support has been postponed, it is no secret that 20% was the minimum Scottish Government expect of practices.
      • There is a very real chance sanctions may still be targeted at underperforming practices.
      • The LDC advise all practices with activity below 20% to contact the OHD to discuss additional support. This will allow all practitioners within the practice to avoid severe reductions in funding going forwards.
    • The Oral Health Directorate wrote to practices this month to reiterate the following advice from SG:
      • “The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the physical distancing requirements for health and social care settings in Scotland. In the meantime, until and unless further notified, all primary care providers should continue to follow the current guidance relating to physical distancing measures.”
    • In addition, NHS Inform has issued the following guidance on self-isolation exemption for health and social care workers.
      • “If health and social care workers are exempt from self-isolation they should follow the advice of the general population outside of work: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection To return to work, there are still additional clinical safeguards in place. Employers no longer need to demonstrate that the service is in extreme circumstances to ask employees to return to work”.
    • The CDO wrote to practices on 13th August to advise that
      • "The Doctors and Dentist Pay Review Body (DDRB) has recommended a 3% uplift to salary scales for NHS medical and dental staff for 20201/22. I am pleased to confirm that this year, the DDRB’s recommendation, which is above the Scottish Public Sector Pay Policy, has been accepted in full.
      • This years’ pay award is made in recognition of an exceptional and challenging year for NHS dentists and to support your continued dedication to providing excellent clinical care to patients. When the award is implemented it will be backdated until 1 April 2021.
      • The final arrangements for making the pay award to General Dental Practitioners will be confirmed to you in due course."
    • Scottish Government have launched their 'National Care Service' consultation
    • All stakeholders (included all dental team members) have the opportunity to respond to the consultation
    • The LDC recommend that you have your say as oral health should be included in any new framework, topics you may wish to raise include Capacity within the GDS (or lack thereof), funding within the GDS (or lack thereof) and training within the GDS (or lack thereof.
    • You can access the consultation here
    • Please take the time to complete a mandate to support the continued work of GG&C LDC. The process is entirely online and takes no more than a minute.
    • It is important to note that if you have moved practice or changed list number your previous mandate will no longer be active and you should sign a new one with each change. If in doubt sign one anyway, you won't increase your commitment if you accidentally duplicate your mandate.

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