Coronavirus: Wales Updates

Last Updates: 05 January 2022

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Please note there has been a relatively minor update to this guidance - Respiratory Pathway Risk Assessment

The updated guidance is also published here: https://gov.wales/dental-management-patients-during-covid-19-recovery

New dental IPC guidance has been released for the UK. This document outlines a change from High, Medium and Low risk pathways to a Respiratory and Non-Respiratory pathway.

In Wales, there is a legal requirement for “workplaces and for premises open to the public (called “regulated premises” in the Regulations) to ensure that reasonable measures are taken to minimise the risk of exposure to, or the spread of, coronavirus by those who have been at those premises” (1).

To minimise the risk of transmission while COVID-19 is in circulation for the Non-Respiratory pathway where infection status is unknown we would recommend that the surgery has 10 air changes per hour or above. Surgeries that do not have the recommended number of air changes per hour are advised to refer to SDCEP fallow times for aerosol generating procedures. Surgeries that do not have any mechanical or natural ventilation should not carry out aerosol generating procedures.

The new guidance also includes an example screening tool for COVID-19. Dental teams in Wales will need to carry out an appropriate risk assessment for COVID-19. Relevant questions, which include commonly reported wider symptoms can improve risk assessments(2) and have been included in the Dental management of patients in Wales during C-19 pandemic recovery document. Teams may also choose to use LFD tests as part of the risk assessments to reduce the risk of transmission in practice.

  1. Alert level 0: guidance for employers, businesses and organisations. https://gov.wales/alert-level-0-guidance-employers-businesses-and-organisations-html
  2. Optimal symptom combinations to aid COVID-19 case identification: Analysis from a community-based, prospective, observational cohort. 2021. M. Antonelli, J. Capdevila, A. Chaudhari, S. Ourselin, C.J. Steves, A.E. Loeliger. https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(21)00079-7/fulltext

The Welsh government shares guidance for the Dental Management of Patients in Wales during the C-19 Pandemic Recovery. This guidance replaces the previous all-Wales Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

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Chief Dental Officer Wales shares a letter to all primary care dental teams in Wales. The letter can be accessed below.

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Please see attached Welsh Government guidance for Health Boards and clinicians on the delivery of orthodontic services in primary care for 2021 and 2022 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the guidance

Please see attached Welsh Government guidance for Health Boards and clinicians on the delivery of orthodontic services in primary care for 2021 and 2022 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the guidance

The Welsh government has shared a letter from 27 January including a HPP poster to increase awareness of the HPP Wales Service.

Letter from CMO and CNO on Health for Health Professionals

HHP Posters

Chief Dental Officer Wales has published two documents for all Primary Care Dental Teams in Wales to outline plans for the financial support available in the coming first two quarters and the FAQ to help answer some commonly asked questions.

Continued Financial Support and Measures

Frequently Asked Questions

In the most recent update regarding the dentistry under the coronavirus pandemic, the Chief Dental Officer for Wales issues an open letter to all primary care dental teams in Wales. Furthermore additional document is released by the CDO with the updated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document and information.

The documents share details about Q4 of 2020/21 in relation to arrangements and support, and more. You can find the official documents below.

Chief Dental Office Letter

Standard Operating Procedure - Updated

Please find attached joint letter from all Chief Dental Officers in the UK offering support to the dental profession throughout the second wave of covid-19.

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The Chief and Deputy Chief Dental Officers share a letter to all Primary Care Dental Teams in Wales.

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Chief Dental Officer Wales has published information regarding the de-escelation of Red alert to Amber alert. For more informaton click below button.

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Chief Dental Officer Wales has published further documents regarding Standard Operating Procedures for AGPs on non-Covid-19 patients. Offical documents can be accessed below.

CDO covering letter - Standard Operating Procedures for AGPs on non-Covid-19 patients

Standard Operating Procedures for AGPs on non-Covid-19 patients

Chief Dental Officer Wales has published a letter and documentation guidance and plans regarding restoration of dental services in wales. All documents can be found below:

Chief Dental Officer Letter

De-escalation Pandemic Plan for Dentistry

Restoration of dental services post Covid-19

De-escelation Standard Operating Processes of Primary Dental Care Settings in Wales

Wales officials have released a supplementary information regarding new guidance on Personal Protective Equipment in light of COVID-19.

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Sent on behalf of the Chief Dental Officer

Dear Colleagues,

Given the concerns raised by front line NHS staff regarding the use and availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) respective UK Governments have been working with, NHS and Public Health leaders to revise guidance about PPE for NHS clinicians treating patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus COVID-19.

A rapid review of existing guidance has been undertaken. Discussions have also been taking place between the 4 x UK CDOs to ensure a collaborative approach to this issue in dentistry.

I understand that the new guidance will be issued today, 2 April 2020, at 12noon. We intend to publish some supplemental guidance for dental teams in Wales so everyone has clarity of what it means for them and their teams.

The guidance advises some key changes which include:

  • In some circumstances some PPE can be worn for an entire session and doesn’t need to be changed between patients
  • When carrying out aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) clinicians should wear a higher level of protective equipment, including sessional use gowns covered by single use aprons.
  • When there is community transmission of coronavirus, staff should use gloves, apron, surgical mask and eye protection for all patients

This means that dental teams need to adopt these guidelines in RED alert phase Urgent Dental Care Centres and in the GDS/CDS surgeries and clinics across Wales (that continue to see Urgent cases whose treatment cannot be delayed), and that together with the hygiene and social distancing measures we are all by now familiar with offer adequate protection for dental teams and their patients.

It is also important that the guidelines are followed properly and that PPE is only used as specified. For every piece of PPE kit used unnecessarily, a piece of kit is unavailable to staff most at risk.

For more information regarding infection prevention and control please visit the latest guidance issued by Public Health England

All Wales Faculty developed a FAQ and Support section on their website for all Dental Care Professionals in Wales

Click here to access the website

Chief Dental Officer of Wales has published a letter regarding business continuity and financial support for dental practices providing NHS services

Click here to read the letter

Chief Dental Officer of Wales has issued a red alert notice letter to all Primary Care Dental Teams in Wales

Click here to read the letter