We are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to increase access, including for routine care, taking into account the ongoing infection prevention and control and social distancing requirements. In resuming services, a careful balance is needed between increasing dental activity and ensuring patients and staff are protected from ongoing infection risk.
National Health Service dentists have been asked to maximise safe throughput to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and vulnerable groups followed by overdue appointments. The NHS has also issued guidance on flexible commissioning to share best practice on targeting the available capacity at those most in need. The Department has asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to lead on the next stage of NHS dental system reform, working closely with the British Dental Association. This will seek to build on the learning from the dental contract reform programme and improve patient access.