Updated dental appendix published
24 November 2021
The updated dental appendix to the government's new infection prevention and control guidance for healthcare settings has now been published. Key changes include:
- Removal of the 3 distinct COVID-19 care pathways (high, medium and low)
- Use of a screening tool to place patients on either a non-respiratory or a respiratory pathway; revert to standard infection control precautions for the non-respiratory pathway
- Reduction of physical distancing requirements to at least 1 metre for the non-respiratory pathway.
Other recommendations from the previous guidance remain in place:
- Organisations and employers should assess, manage and monitor risk based on the measures prioritised in the hierarchy of controls
- All patients should be screened for COVID-19
- Universal masking/face coverings to remain for staff and patients within dental settings
- Patients with suspected or confirmed respiratory infection should have non-urgent treatment deferred if clinically appropriate
- Patients on the respiratory pathway whose treatment cannot be deferred should be segregated or isolated from other patients
- Two metres physical distancing should continue for patients on the respiratory pathway.
We now await the publication of standard operating procedures to define the detailed approach to applying this guidance in each UK nation. Until such time as new SOPs are published, please continue to use those currently in place. We will keep you updated.