Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to provide greater access to NHS dental care on the Isle of Wight.
Dental practices were required to close for face to face care on 26 March 2020 due to COVID-19. Urgent care continued to be provided by practices, restricted to remote triage, advice, analgesia and antibiotics where appropriate. In April, urgent dental care (UDC) hubs were established in Cowes for patients who were at greater risk or shielding as well as Ryde for all other patients. In July a further UDC hub was established in Bembridge.
Since 8 June, practices have been able to see patients for face-to-face care. The pace of restoration of dental services is limited by public health measures on social distancing and the infection prevention control guidance. All National Health Service dental practices on the Isle of Wight are open and seeing patients who require urgent dental care which cannot be controlled by pain relief or assisted by antibiotics, those who were in a course of treatment that was not completed prior to the lockdown, and those who may be at greater risk of oral disease. Dental clinicians should identify and recall patients according to their clinical and professional judgement.