Last updateTue, 21 Jun 2022 10am

Forewarned is forearmed: how the virus affects dentistry

A personal perspective on COVID-19 from an expert witness and specialist in restorative dentistry.

By TOBY TALBOT BDS (Sheff) MSD (Washington) FDS RCS (Eng)

We began to hear of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan Province in China in early January 2020.

Rather than wait for formal advice from our authorities, I contacted a colleague working in Hong Kong, who was well acquainted with the effects of the SARS outbreak in 2003, a variant of coronavirus. A similar pandemic of MERS that had followed in the Middle East in 2012 led me to contact colleagues in the Emirates. They kindly passed on the protocols that were adopted by them at that time for me to implement immediately in my own clinic.

Legal sector carries on as 'new normal' during coronavirus pandemic

Since the last issue of Your Expert Witness, when we were in limbo as to where the coronavirus outbreak was going, the COVID-19 crisis has infiltrated all aspects of life – including in the legal sector. It did not take long for the Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to suspend all but the most urgent of hearings, before devising ways of carrying out more routine hearings.

Scotland’s lawyers celebrate platinum

This year sees the 70th anniversary of The Law Society of Scotland. Given that the legal systems in Scotland and England have been famously different for centuries, it seems perverse that the country’s lawyers only acquired their own representative body less than one of those centuries ago. In fact the principal was established in 1933, but the little matter of World War Two got in the way of its implementation.

Nevertheless, a platinum anniversary is something to be celebrated and Scotland’s advocates are determined to do just that: especially as it coincides with the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, which paved the way for women to become solicitors for the first time.

Solidarity breaks out over NHS Long Term Plan

Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan the government and GPs agreed a new contract, which involves a number of substantial changes. One of the mainstays – designed to allow the plan to be realised – is the introduction of an army of medical professionals other than doctors to work within practices and act as first point of contact for patients needing their particular skills.

That includes thousands of physiotherapists who will deal with patients presenting with musculoskeletal problems, which currently account for around one fifth of GP appointments. The idea is it will free up GPs to deal with problems requiring their generalist skills. It is also expected to substantially reduce the number of secondary referrals to physiotherapists by GPs.