LASC LDCs are here to listen and support you if you have any concerns or questions. Please contact us through the contact form on this website or email email@example.com. There are also numerous dental specific helplines out there if you find that you need help, we have listed some of these contacts below. Please do not suffer in silence, you are not alone, and support is there for you;
Primary care teams should continue to risk assess all staff, particularly those who may be at increased risk. This includes older colleagues, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions, in both patient facing and non-patient facing settings.
Emerging UK and international data suggest that people from Black,Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Public Health England have been asked by the Department of Health and Social Care to investigate this. However, in advance of their report, it is recommended that employers should risk assess staff at potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements accordingly. Please click on the link below to access all guidance to date:
England: Failure to extend flu jabs scheme risks deepening crisis on access
NHS dentists in England this week received a letter strongly encouraging "all NHS frontline workers" to participate in the free flu vaccine scheme.
However the letter is not relevant to dentists in England as the government does not recognise them as key workers and therefore excludes them from the scheme.
Branding the policy 'absurd', Chair of the BDA's General Dental Practice Committee Dave Cottam said: "Officials need to apply their own logic to dentists and their staff. Continued failure to treat us as key workers hits our teams, and millions desperate to access our services. We are NHS frontline workers. Devolved governments have recognised this. The risks remain the same, regardless of your postcode."
Updated advice for pregnant healthcare workers
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recently updated the advice for healthcare workers who are pregnant. The updated advice states that an individual who is pregnant can continue working with patients at any stage of pregnancy as long as they have completed a pregnancy risk assessment and an individual risk assessment.
These assessments must be regularly reviewed with their employer and followed by the guidance promoted by the risk assessment.
How Confidental Works
When you call Confidental you will be greeted by a short automated message. The call is then directed to one of our listeners (all practicing or retired dentists) who will listen to you and help to empower you to come to your own solution or signpost you to a relevant organisation who may be able to offer you further advice.
As Confidental is run entirely by volunteers we will unfortunately be unable to catch every call.
In the event that we aren’t able to answer your call you will hear second message which will ask you to try again and will also give details for Samaritans.
It is important during this time that you take time to prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing, recognising that it is more difficult to provide outstanding care for others when you are not adequately cared for yourself.
Greater Manchester training hub offers links to training and resources and to support mental health and wellbeing please click on the link below:
Free coaching support for NHS dentists and teams in England
Dentists and their teams working under an NHS contract in primary care in England can now access a coaching service run by NHS England and NHS Improvement, which aims to support frontline staff's wellbeing during the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Available seven days a week, staff can book a slot with experienced coaches at a date and time that suits them.
The offer provides staff in clinical and non-clinical roles across primary care the opportunity to process their experiences, develop coping skills, deal with difficult conversations and develop strategies for self-management in challenging circumstances.
Coaching sessions will continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic until at least March 2021.
The support is provided independently of your employer, and your employer will not be notified that you are accessing this service, unless you choose to tell them.
BDA lifeline for profession under stress
The British Dental Association (BDA) has launched a new partnership with the award-winning employee assistance programme Health Assured to provide all BDA members with a 24-7 comprehensive and confidential counselling service.
The service offers expert advice and compassionate guidance, a pathway to structured telephone counselling for members or their dependents and for members face-to-face counselling sessions, alongside advice on any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour disputes.
The BDA has committed itself to tackling the epidemic of mental health issues facing the profession. Its own research has found that almost half of dentists say stress in their job is exceeding their ability to cope. BDA surveys have found high levels of stress and burnout among the profession, with a fifth of respondents (17.6%) admitting they had seriously thought about committing suicide.
The Health Assured coverage includes access to their Health e-Hub App (via the App Store and Google Play) which offers access to holistic health and wellbeing support anywhere and anytime, an online portal with a virtual library of wellbeing information, and a range of online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self-help modules, factsheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors.
BDA members can log in to their My BDA account for the member-only access details
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said:
"Mental health matters. Evidence shows dentists are now in desperate need of support, and sadly all too often aren't even offered signposts to basic services.
"We set out to guarantee that none of our members need to suffer in silence. Whatever is causing stress, with our friends at Health Assured we can now offer counselling, advice and tools, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
We recognise the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has already caused some disruption and may particularly affect dental students and dentists who suffer from issues related to mental ill health and who are on low incomes, or in other difficulties. We are also aware of the financial implications as a result of sickness, self-isolation and those whose practices are currently or may be closed which will have an impact upon earnings. Although we are not a fund set up to directly deal with coronavirus, nor are we able to replicate your income, we would like to reassure you that if you are worried that you are not currently able to meet your personal household expenditure, please get in touch.
The Dentists Health Support Trust (DHST)
The Dentists Health Support Trust (previously called The Sick Dentists Scheme & Dentists Health Support Programme) helps addicted and alcoholic Dentists get into recovery. It is financed by the profession & is run by the Trustees of the Dental Health Support Trust.
The help-line is open 24/7 - 020 7224 4671
Calls and emails are treated with strict confidentiality and can be made anonymously (like those to the Sick Doctors Trust). They are answered by a Dentist in recovery or a Clinical Psychologist specialising in addiction.
Financial assistance with treatment centre expenses may be available where appropriate from the British Dental Association Benevolent Fund. The Trust also has a network of recovering dentists available across the country, who can offer support.
Help and advice, particularly with GDC problems, is also available from the British Doctors and Dentists Groups which meet regularly and nationwide.