We received updated advice from the Northern Ireland Chief Dental Officer (CDO) yesterday, outlining the processes and phases of how dental services will return to normal, in line with the Stormont Executive’s relaxation of lockdown.
Some elements of the media are causing confusion by inaccurately reporting that dental practices in Northern Ireland will reopen from 8th June for urgent dental care only. This is the situation already with Saintfield Dental Care and is in keeping with the emergency triage system that we have been providing to our patients all along since lockdown was announced in the middle of March in line with the Health Board’s guidance.
The only notable change at present, is that from the 8th June when appropriate, a patient being referred to the Urgent Dental Care (UDC) centres may need to be seen in the practice for a face to face assessment prior to the referral being accepted by the UDC.
There is no other change detailed in this first phase about the range of services dental practices are permitted to deliver i.e. “urgent” non AGP treatment only. This means we are still under restrictions and therefore are unable to provide most of the treatment that we would normally offer our patients in a non COVID-19 situation.
We appreciate that many of you will be experiencing dental issues throughout this period – we continue to be available seven days a week to support and advise you on the management and treatment required. Please ring the surgery on 02897 519055 for advice.
We will inform you once we receive timeframes for the implementation of the subsequent phases from the Health Board.