In line with national guidance issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic dental practices in the East Midlands are currently closed for routine “face to face” dental appointments.
People seeking help with dental problems should not visit a local NHS dental practice but instead phone, between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, for information for advice on alternative arrangements in place. Or contact NHS 111 evenings after 5pm, weekends and bank holidays. All 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 East 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 we have shared these arrangements with dentists. This will be at a smaller number of sites initially and they will be operating from Thursday 9 April 2020, with more local sites being opened in the coming weeks.
One hub for patients with COVID-19 symptoms (or those who are self-isolating) will be open this week and the further sites will be rolling out over the coming weeks. Initially for patients with COVID-19 symptoms requiring treatment, they must be available to travel.
Access will be provided at weekends, on Good Friday and Easter Monday. We will continue to provide further updates on these services.