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England: Additional exceptional circumstances announced

17 January 2022

 

NHS England has announced additional exceptional circumstances arrangements to provide further support to practices hit by Covid-related staff absences in the Omicron wave. Where patient activity is lost due to a staff absence as a direct result of COVID-19 or due to self-isolation from 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022, contractors will be able to submit a claim for this lost activity to be credited to the contract.

 

Contractors will need to promptly notify commissioners within five working days of the absence using the template available from the BSA and submit it to the BSA (nhsbsa.dentalcases@nhs.net) with regional commissioners copied in. Retrospective claims for December and early January must be submitted by 31 January in order to be considered.

 

Contractors will be asked to provide evidence of the staff who are advised to self-isolate and the proof that they are required to do so from either test and trace or a test result. You must also evidence the period of patient care affected by supplying the relevant appointment books for the affected sessions to demonstrate the UDAs lost as a result of the absence.

 

To be eligible, you must comply with all other requirements to receive income protection and self-isolation guidance for staff, as well as submitting workforce returns. You cannot claim in relation to absences for non-COVID illness or for vacancies, and the arrangements do not apply to instances where patients do not attend as a result of COVID-19. Once a decision has been reached on the activity to be credited to your contract, this will be communicated to you along with the rationale for the calculation made.

 

We will be producing advice for members about how to deal with any activity credited under these arrangements in relation to associate payments.

 

We will continue to press NHS England for further concessions given the ongoing impact of Omicron. In order to make that case, we're asking for your views on working through Omicron. Please help us make your voice heard, and fill out this new survey.