£5 million to help meet safety standards and see more patients.
Additional funding of up to £5 million is available to NHS dentists to help remobilise services as Scotland recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This new funding will help NHS dental practices to purchase, renew or upgrade ventilation equipment as improved ventilation in surgeries can substantially reduce the time between seeing patients, and offer dental teams the opportunity to see more patients safely.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“The remobilisation of the NHS is one of our number one priorities and the Scottish Government remains committed to ensuring that NHS dental services emerge from this pandemic well-placed to care for the oral health of the population.
“This new funding is an important step in ensuring the continued remobilisation of NHS dental services and to ensure more patients can be seen safely. We will also continue to fund free PPE for the dental sector and, from July, we will increase it by up to 50 per cent.
“We are continuing to work with the sector to provide much-needed support to fully remobilise dental services.
Funding will be available throughout this financial year, and will be distributed by NHS boards to those practices meeting the scheme’s conditions. Claims can be made for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022. Further details of the scheme and how to apply will be provided to the dental sector by separate circular issued by the office of the Chief Dental Officer.
Improving the ventilation capacity of dental surgeries enables more patients to be than before. Where a treatment room is ventilated to allow 10 or more air changes per hour, this reduces the time between patients to 15 minutes, compared with 30 minutes for one to five air changes per hour.
Earlier this month Mr Yousaf confirmed financial support required to continue the delivery of free PPE to Primary Care contractors until the end of this financial year to support the continuing remobilisation of NHS services.