Register your interest: voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the w
By DTA | 30th March 2020 | News
Register your interest: voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS
The Chief Dental Officer England and NHS England are producing a framework for the voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS, based on the competencies of each team member. Any dental team member wishing to work in the wider NHS can register their interest via the NHS England & NHS Improvement website.
The Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England, NHS England & NHS Improvement team have asked the DTA to share the below information to our membership.
The Letter of Preparedness from Chief Dental Officer, England, Sara Hurley, and NHS England and NHS Improvement, Director of Primary Care and System Transformation, Matt Neligan, published on 25th of March outlined the postponement of elective dental care and further assurance of NHS dental contracts. Please see Issue 3 Preparedness for primary dental care.
Amongst significant changes to primary dental service provision it describes a highly skilled workforce with the capacity to help the wider health and social care system. The Office of Chief Dental Officer, England, has, to date received an overwhelming number of requests and queries from members of the dental team wishing to support the NHS and our medical colleagues in response to COVID-19.
To support both NHS colleagues and enable dental teams to volunteer, the Chief Dental Officer, England, and NHS England and NHS Improvement is producing a framework for the voluntary redeployment of the dental workforce to areas of need within the wider NHS, based on the competencies of each dental team member.
Any dental team member wishing to support the NHS can register their interest via survey link on the NHS England & NHS Improvement website https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/returning-clinicians/dental-professionals/
Thank you for your ongoing support to the NHS.
The Office of the Chief Dental Officer, England, NHS England & NHS Improvement team
The GDC have issues advice to dental professionals working in non-dental settings:
The NHS is increasingly asking dental professionals to be ready to support the wider COVID-19 response by using their professional skills and experience outside the normal range of dental and oral health activities. As a regulator, we want to support that activity and our registrants taking part in it, while of course keeping to the fundamental need to do so in ways which support patient safety.
When a dental professional is providing support to the wider NHS, the same basic principles apply as in any other situation: the test is whether they are trained, competent and indemnified for the tasks they undertake.
There are many tasks in the wider health service which can be performed by dental professionals drawing on their existing professional skills and experience. Registrants should satisfy themselves that they are competent to perform the tasks being asked of them, or are given the training necessary to equip them to do so. We understand that the health services are preparing guidance on the mapping between dental skills and wider medical tasks, which registrants will want to take into account.
We expect registrants to make a considered judgement about whether they are trained and competent; we do not expect them to limit themselves to the specific activities set out in their scope of practice. That doesn't make scope of practice irrelevant: it will be a useful starting point for considering what wider tasks are appropriate, but it does not in itself constrain dental professionals' ability to support the COVID-19 response.
Indemnity should not be an issue where support of this kind is being provided to the NHS, since the Coronavirus Act provides cover for any liabilities beyond the scope of existing cover. We understand that some indemnifiers may choose to offer extended cover; registrants should ensure that they check with their indemnity provider and, if appropriate, with the relevant NHS authority that coverage is in place by one route or the other.