COVID-19: what we are doing to assist our members: posted 22 March 2020
In these fast changing and uncertain times, we would like to reassure our members that we are committed to supporting you in whatever way we can. It is a difficult time and we appreciate many of you will have concerns and worries.
We aim to keep you informed of developments that are relevant to us as dental therapists, and for you to have a daily point of contact, so our President Deborah McGovern will broadcast a daily update to our members via Facebook, and email.
We are working hard to support you and have today (22 March 2020) announced a 3 month freeze on membership subscriptions, we have written to the GDC with regard to the annual retention fee and are inviting you to sign another letter that we will send on your behalf, and we understand that some indemnity companies are prepared to reduce your payments if you are not working or have reduced your hours, so do contact them to enquire.
As advice and government support is changing rapidly, we urge you to keep up to date with the daily Prime Minister announcements, especially in relation to economic help that is to be made available for people who rent, have mortgages, are employed or are self-employed. It appears that the dental team is to be classed as “keyworkers”, so this should help those of you who have children.
Lots of advice is available via social media platforms too, especially from groups that are run for dental professionals. Members of these groups are generous in sharing their experiences, which may or may not be helpful. Many of you may decide to take a break from social media at this time as it can heighten concerns rather than allay them depending on what you read!
As dental professionals we are aware of the dangers we face when treating patients who are or might be COVID-19 positive, we understand there is still uncertainty around the necessity to provide routine treatment and the availability of protective equipment; we ask that you risk assess your own personal situation and advise you to follow the latest guidelines set out by NHS England, Wales and Scotland, the latest of which was published on Friday 20th March.
NHS England and the Office of the Chief Dental Officer issued an up-to-date “preparedness letter” for primary care dentistry. Please note it advises practices to “consider the potential risk of asymptomatic cases attending in this delay phase and reduce exposure of staff and patients to infection by avoiding all aerosol generating procedures wherever possible”.
We would also encourage you to follow the daily live updates from the BDA which are available on their website www.bda.org.
This is a time of unprecedented uncertainty, COVID-19 will affect us all in some way. Please be assured that if you need advice or would just like someone to talk to you can contact us, via our website, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone 07312 101 963.
Stay safe and we will always be working for you, we are all in the same boat here, let’s paddle together.
Debbie McGovern: President
Debbie Hemington: Chair
Julie Ellis: Secretary
Anne-Marie Yarwood: Treasurer
BADT Executive Council