Scotland: Expired PPE concerns raised with Minister and CDO
17 September 2020
We have written to the Chief Dental Officer and the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing to highlight our concerns about dentists being supplied with enhanced PPE that is past its expiry date. We are aware of the consternation that our recent press release about out-of-date PPE caused among the profession and within the Scottish Government, and took the opportunity to explain our stance on the issue.
The issue of expired PPE without seemingly robust verification only recently came to light, when GDPs started receiving boxes of 3M 1863 masks to allow them to carry out AGPs in practices. Some of these masks dated back to 2001 and had expiry dates going back to 2012. We repeatedly sought firm evidence from National Services Scotland (NSS) that expired masks have been robustly assessed and are safe to use. Given the lack of reassurance we received, as the trade union for dentists we felt compelled to highlight this issue in the interests of the safety of dentists, their teams and patients.
Many dentists willingly donated their PPE to hospices, pharmacies and hospitals at the onset of the pandemic. In return, NSS has supplied out-of-date masks, and no strong evidence they are safe to use. That is unacceptable. We have called on NSS to make alternative arrangements for supplying ‘in date’ PPE to dentists as soon as possible.