In line with national guidance issued in response to the Covid-19 pandemic dental practices in the West Midlands are currently closed for routine “face to face” dental appointments.

People seeking help with dental problems should not visit their dental practice but instead phone their normal practice for information for advice on alternative arrangements in place or contact NHS 111. Most practices are offering telephone or video-link consultations and can prescribe pain killers and antibiotics if needed. They will also be able to refer those patients in need of urgent treatment to a service where they can be seen.

People seeking help should not visit A&E departments or GP surgeries for dental care.

The NHS is in the process of identifying and setting up a number of local treatment centres to see any patients referred on for urgent treatment. These will be provided through a network of specially equipped and trained dental practices.
For safety some sites will be designated for patients with Covid-19 symptoms or those self-isolating because of their contacts and others for patients without symptoms. A small number of sites will treat only vulnerable or shielded patients. It is important for their own safety that patients are clear about whether or not they are symptomatic, self-isolating or in a vulnerable or shielded group.

NHS England and Improvement is aware of the problems currently being experienced by those seeking urgent dental care across the West Midlands in advance of these arrangements being fully in place.
We have been working on interim arrangements to ensure that patients can access care and expect to share these with dentists in the next couple of days. This will be at a smaller number of sites than usual, with additional more local sites being opened in the coming weeks.

We expect hubs for patients with Covid-19 symptoms (or those who are self-isolating) to be open in most areas later this week.

Out of Hours services continue to operate with patients being assessed and seen as necessary. Access to these services is via NHS 111. Some additional services will also be operational during normal hours on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

We will continue to provide further updates on these services as they become available.

Kind regards,

Norma Harvey
NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands

Categories: Communication

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