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News / February 26, 2021

Patients ‘hiding’ positive COVID result to get dental appointment

by Gaby Bissett

Patients have 'lied' about their positive COVID-19 test to get a dental appointmentPatients have ‘lied’ about their positive COVID-19 test to get a dental appointment, a leading figure has said. 

Belfast Live report that Richard Graham – BDA Northern Ireland’s dental practice committee chair – has urged patients to be honest when booking dental visits.

He said that some practices have found that patients have been withholding information on their COVID positive test result in order to secure an appointment.

He also described the circumstances as ‘difficult’ for dentists, adding that level 2 PPE is ‘physically and mentally exhausting’ for colleagues.

Extra funding

This comes as health minister, Robin Swann, announces that NHS and mixed practices are eligible for £1.5 million in funding.

His letter confirms that the financial support will be available to help improve surgeries. This will help practices to make the necessary changes to accommodate the requirements of the pandemic.

He said the approach also recognises the benefits that improved ventilation and patient footfall bring to population health.

Known as the Patient Throughout Scheme, the funding will be delegated based on the number of surgeries in each practice.

Commercial impact

He also confirmed that officials are considering extra support regarding PPE.

Talking about private dentistry, Mr Swann said: ‘With regards to private dentistry, it remains the case that my department does not have the power to provide funding for private enterprises.

‘I continue to acknowledge the needs of private dentists and the commercial impact the pandemic has had on them.’

He points out that he has previously written to the government asking for the consideration of a support scheme.

You can read the letter here.