Wales: Updated guidance from Welsh government
27 August 2020
Today the Chief Dental Officer for Wales, Colette Bridgman, has written to all primary care dental teams in Wales in order to update the industry on the progress of reinstating NHS dentistry.
The letter includes a review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which includes changes in SOP settle time following AGP and non-AGP procedures. The SOP review also covers the reintroduction of more services in low amber phase, latest news on eRMS and future intentions and opportunities for NHS dentistry in Wales that will inform the dental contract reform programme in April 2021.
Many dentists will be particularly interested in the clarifications regarding fallow time, regarding this, the CDO's letter says:
"For most non-AGP procedures, no additional time is required before cleaning and disinfecting the surgery. For procedures which have produced a lot of droplets and splatter (e.g. a difficult extraction) 10 minutes is now recommended for droplets to settle before cleaning. Until such time as a vaccine and/or point of care testing is widely available, it is necessary that dental practices and services continue to adhere to infection control and health protection measures advised in the SOP."
"The SOP ... now includes more flexibility for clinical judgement... mitigating factors that allow a reduction in fallow time following an AGP from 60 minutes... include, a surgery having optimal ventilation (10 air changes per hour), the length and complexity of treatment provided, the use of rubber dam, the use of high-powered suction, pre-rinse etc."
"Although the community transmission is Wales is now low, we know that COVID-19 infected people can be asymptomatic, and this will mean that universal precautions will be necessary for some time to come."