Basic and immediate life support training for dental professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic

Over the course of the year, there has been an abundance of new challenges and guidance for the profession to deal with, putting a strain on many dental professionals and practices.

The GDC recognises that this may have impacted upon CPD requirements which may not have been completed for the year, and therefore states that they will take the exceptional circumstances into account when dentists complete their end-of-cycle CPD statement.

However, the GDC also notes that they expect dentists to do their "utmost to meet CPD requirements" as CPD plays an important role in patient safety and public confidence. While much in-person CPD has been postponed for the foreseeable future, dentists can keep up-to-date in the area of basic life support (BLS) through remote CPD training.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England and the GDC recently published a joint statement on the requirement to stay up to date with life support training. While the statement acknowledges the importance of updating resuscitation skills annually, it also recognises that COVID-19 social distancing can make accessing training, such as BLS and immediate life support (ILS), more challenging. The statement explains: 

"Providers and individual dental professionals should continue to make every effort to complete accredited BLS/ILS training annually. However, if this training is unavailable due to current COVID-19 restrictions, appropriate alternative provisions, in accordance with relevant government guidance, should be made."

The statement also states: 

"Records and evidence of efforts made to access training, and to update CPR knowledge and skills should be maintained."

As the GDC are one of the bodies that has issued this statement, in the DDU’s view it represents guidance on which all UK dental professionals could rely. The DDU recommends adhering to the advice to maintain records and evidence of efforts made to access the appropriate training.

This page was correct at publication on 30/12/2020. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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