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Standing up for UK private dentistry
1. Vaccination for the Dental Team - England


From the OCDO

How you will receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you work in private dentistry

The NHS request providers update their contact records with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a matter of urgency.

This is because if you work in private sector dentistry and the practice you work in or you personally do not have a NHS contract, then the NHS does not hold any contact details for you. This means we need to get hold of your contact details, or that of your practice, from the regulator the CQC. It is therefore essential that private practice owners ensure the contact details for their practice with the CQC are up to date, especially with an up to date email address. The NHS can then begin the process of vaccinating staff.
If you are a locum clinical staff not currently clinically active or between employment we will update you as soon as possible.
(Full message HERE)
From the CQC

COVID-19 vaccinations and the dental sector

Update from the CQC
Dental teams are, along with other front line healthcare staff being prioritised for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Chief Dental Officer has shared information to explain how the vaccination programme will be rolled out for dental teams, including both NHS, mixed and private dental providers. This includes information about steps you may need to take to ensure you are able to be contacted to arrange vaccination for your team. We are supporting the vaccination programme by working with NHS England to ensure they have the right contact details for private providers who are not registered with the NHS. 

For private providers, if your contact details we hold are up to date you will not need to do anything. If they are not up to date it is important you let us know, you can do this by submitting a notification form.
You can find more information on how the vaccination programme is being delivered for dental teams in the latest update from the Chief Dental officer.

From the GDC
Latest updates from the GDC - January 2021
COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline dental professionals

It has been confirmed that if you are a UK frontline dental practitioner, you are in the priority group for the COVID-19 vaccination programme, as part of the ‘frontline health and social care workers’ group.
The Chief Dental Officer England has also today confirmed that dental professionals and their teams are being prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccine. This means that dental teams supporting the NHS and those working in private or mixed practices will all be entitled to a vaccine. This includes specialist practices and clinical dental technicians registered with the CQC.

If you work in private dentistry in England, as a matter of urgency please check that your contact details held by the CQC are up to date and correct. More details are available on the email bulletin Your NHS and dentistry oral health update (NHS England).

Finally, we have seen suggestion that the GDC Standards for the Dental Team might mean the vaccine is mandatory for dental professionals. We want to be clear that this is not the case.
Private Associates not linked to a practice

The situation for Private Associates or others who may not be linked to a practice registered with the CQC or NHS remains a little unclear and we await further information.

We are aware that some LDC’s have been proactively working on ensuring that all dentists, including private, and their teams, are ‘on the list’ for vaccination. If you somehow fall into a category where you are not part of a practice (i.e. no CQC or NHS link)  it may help to contact your local LDC, even if you are a private practitioner.
LDC’s that have contacted us to invite private practices onto their vaccine coordination lists:
Private practices in West Sussex - please contact:
Private practices in East Herts - please contact:

In summary,
  • Private practices: make sure your contact details are correct with the CQC and then wait to hear from them
  • Private Associates linked to a CQC registered practice: wait to hear from the CQC via the practice you work with
  • Private Associates NOT linked to a CQC registered practice: we are waiting to hear more.
  • LDC: It is a good idea to link up with your Local Dental Committee to have another source of information and contact.
  • Vaccination IS NOT a GDC requirement

Our advice is that you do everything you can to make sure that you and your team are ‘on the radar’ as frontline healthcare workers.

This information is correct at the time of sending on Monday 11th January 2021.

We will continue monitoring the situation and share information as we receive it.

2. Vaccination for the Dental Team - NI 

Shared from Northern Ireland:
There seems to be a few recurrent issues at play here in NI which we will all recognise.
  • Failed appointments - We are hearing reports of a significant level of missed appointments. Whilst this is shameful, there doesn’t seem to be any consistent contingency plan in play to offset this.
  • Different trusts have developed different rules. There seems to be a “postcode lottery” at play. Already, the Western trust seems to be experiencing relatively low uptake by identified HC workers and, to their credit, have actively invited dental teams for vaccination. However, these must be booked by phone and it is proving extremely difficult to get through!
  • Even though dental teams are not due for vaccination here until 18th, there is something of a coin toss as to whether team members get vaccinated. Dentists seem to be more likely to be vaccinated than team members but even this is highly erratic, even at the same centre! Many team members and indeed some dentists have been denied vaccinations which raises the question as to whether defrosted vaccine is unused?
  • Lots and lots of availability online across all the boards. This seems ludicrous. We are dealing with a Pfizer vaccine which has an extremely limited lifespan once defrosted. And, may only be subdivided into many hundreds?
 A contingency may be to book some potential attendees at the end of every day to ensure that most defrosted vaccine is used. We fully understand the need for social distancing and logistically this may be difficult.
  • Some “vaccinees” have had mild symptoms , slight fatigue, muscle ache.  Some have had intense headaches, cramping, nausea and aching/tenderness at the injection site.

This information is correct at the time of sending on Monday 11th January 2021.

We will continue monitoring the situation and share information as we receive it.

BREAKING NEWS!!! “The Department of Health has confirmed that General Dental Practice staff, both health and private, are a designated healthcare worker group that can avail of COVID vaccination.

Appointments with HSC Trusts to provide vaccination for General Dental Practice staff will be available to book with immediate effect.” 
3. Vaccination for the Dental Team - Scotland 

Healthcare Staff working with direct face to face contact in health care settings have been prioritised for vaccination after care home residents and care home workers. While there is limited vaccine availability, Boards have been instructed to seek to vaccinate:

ii) Others based on a risk assessment taking into account factors such as those who are working in Covid red areas and age (older staff).
All of the health boards have now put in place a vaccination program for the dental teams. It’s now available
Anecdotally, there is a low level of reluctance from young females who may be planning a family. However, most members of the dental teams are gratefully accepting it.

There is some variability in appointment availability depending on the health board area.

This information is correct at the time of sending on Monday 11th January 2021.

We will continue monitoring the situation and share information as we receive it.
4. Volunteering to be a vaccinator - England 
We polled BAPD members regarding whether to lobby for private dentists to be allowed to volunteer for this service and there were many that said yes. Subsequently, we established that there was no need for this, as the route to volunteering already exists and is open to private dentists: there is training and vetting required.
Our own Dominic O’Hooley is going through the process and as he has put it, this is something of a ‘war effort’ for the pandemic. For the many private dentists who indicated they would like to get involved and do their bit, the simplest route appears to be via this link:
Further information can be found here:

Hertfordshire vaccine centres are looking for vaccinator volunteers. Any Dentist, Dental Nurse or Hygienist is welcome to volunteer.
Please send the following details:
A postcode home or practice (whichever is most convenient)
Mobile telephone number
Job description
Times available to work
Place Vaccinator volunteer in the email subject title line.
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