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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-30868
Asked by: Tom Mason, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 21 July 2020

Question

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish updated guidance regarding the resumption of aerosol generating dental procedures for NHS patients.

Current status: Answered by Joe FitzPatrick on 12 August 2020


Answer

We are not in a position to give a precise date on when this guidance will be published. The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) is leading a 4 UK country group looking at all aerosol generated procedures (AGP) in dentistry examining each against the risks of transmission and their mitigation when they are reintroduced into practice.

COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge for public health experts and governments. The over-riding concern of the Scottish Government has been and continues to be the prevention of further outbreaks and loss-of-life. As most dental procedures involve the generation of a fine spray of moisture droplets they are considered high risk procedures for the transmission of coronavirus. We have therefore taken a precautionary approach to remobilisation of NHS dental care in Scotland.

Throughout the pandemic NHS patients have continued to have appropriate access to urgent care with AGPs through 71 Urgent Dental Care Centres established at NHS Board level. As we continue to suppress the virus we have been able to reintroduce activity within dental practice, and from the 17 August dental practices will be able to provide certain types of AGPs on patients in need of urgent dental care.