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COVID-19 UPDATE #46 – 9th FEBRUARY 2021

As the nation’s lockdown period continues, and new strains of the virus emerge we progress cautiously together. Most of the Scottish Dental Teams choosing to be vaccinated have had, at least, their 1st dose and many are scheduled already for their second. Hopefully we can move forward with a degree of optimism into the months ahead.
We are now sharing our 46th Covid-19 digest in relation to the Scottish Dental Sector. I hope you find this digest of value. As always – if you have any specific concerns or questions we will be delighted to hear from you.


There has been very little noteworthy content to share from a political sense since my last briefing. The focus post Christmas relaxations has been on containment of the R number and this appears to be on track once again. We have received the Scottish Budget announcements, and as you would anticipate this did not introduce any really controversial elements mid pandemic and pre election. We anticipate any major tax rises to fall post election and once the country is in a more stable state.
The Scottish Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing has confirmed that the request for support towards ventilation costs in NHS practices is not in their budget plans. Whilst not altogether surprising this is disappointing nonetheless.


Despite the continuing lockdown conditions all dentistry has been considered essential healthcare and has been maintained, allowing many practices to report record throughput in their Covid-19 timeline. However, we are aware that some practices are experiencing a nervousness from their patient base to travel for appointments, and filling even the restricted chair availability has been a challenge. We are also aware that many within the dental nursing teams have elected to decline their vaccine creating some ethical challenges for the practice management. 
The Scottish SOP and SDCEP Rapid Review documents have both been updated this month, albeit in minor ways. I share the revised documents for your information below;SOP Revised Feb 2021


A few updates to some existing and new schemes to share at this time as follows.

NHS Funding
As highlighted in my prior digest the measurement of NHS activity levels will not be introduced now until, at earliest, 1st June. We fully expect some change to that timeline and will keep you informed of any arising news. All Covid-19 support will continue at present levels until then, which is helpful for planning purposes. Anyone recruiting or moving practice in the meantime should seek guidance on their Covid support payment porting via the ‘joining new practice form’ completion. 
The ongoing review of the long term future of the SDR is likely to continue in the meantime and we expect further consultation to follow.

NHS Rent Reimbursement 
As all our NHS committed practice owners have been informed over the last 2 months, PSD still require completion of the GP234 form this year. Whether you elect to self certify an unchanged position or have your accountant audit the submission the forms must be filed no later than 28th February. The current form can be located at this link. Don’t miss the deadline and sacrifice the valuable 1st quarter support payment. Do let us know if you have any queries arising, we would be delighted to assist.

£500 Bonus
The £500 NHS and care bonus intended to be paid pre Christmas was delayed. A PCA was finally issued this week to clarify the process of claiming this £500 payment. I have great pleasure in sharing the PCA below.
PCA(D)(2021)01 – £500 Bonus

The key highlights of the PCA include; 

  • All NHS Dentists along with their clinical and admin team members are eligible assuming they have delivered NHS services for a minimum of 30 continuous days between 17 March and 30 November 2020 at some point
  • No minimum level of NHS activity is specified in the PCA, which had been expected to state it be limited to fully NHS committed practices
  • Pro-rating will be applied based on the number of hours worked as a factor of 37.5hours for employees and 40 for dentists (per week)
  • Only one person should apply for each practice grouping
  • The application can be undertaken at this site
  • Forms must be submitted no later than 21 February or will be excluded from payment
  • A lump sum will be paid to the practice in March 2021 and should be distributed thereafter
  • It should be processed via the payroll system (for employees) and will be taxable/NICable
  • The Employers NIC of £69 (pro-rata) will be included in the grant to reimburse the practice for costs
  • Anyone who left the practice post 17 March 2020 should be included in your claims and contacted to pass on their entitlements
  • Those working at more than one practice should take care to ensure their total claim does not exceed £500 across all settings but can claim for each practice.

PSD have published a useful FAQ to accompany the PCA and I also share this below;
£500 Bonus FAQ

There is an email address on the PCA which is provided for help and queries, however it is incorrectly stated. The correct email address is in fact; .

Local Authority Discretionary Support Funds
Each local authority has been allocated an extra fund to support businesses excluded from other support where they have been impacted more than 30% financially by the closures or regulations introduced since October 2020. These funds are now open for applications.
Where it can be evidenced that you have been impacted by more than 30% and have had no Covid support since that date you can apply via the online forms on your own Local Authority’s website for a potential grant payment.
It will be allocated on a first come/first serve basis, but may be helpful to the recently self employed or Therapist teams still impacted. The funds will close when funds are depleted so if eligible you must act swiftly.

Love and best wishes to you at this time from myself and the full Dental Accountants Scotland team. I hope you manage to stay safe and well.
As a recurring reminder – our full team continue to work remotely but are ready and willing to continue to do all we can to support you in any way possible. Please feel free to continue to call my mobile 07375 700468 (day or night) or book a zoom online consultation here and I will be glad to support you in anyway. Our no fee advice is available to you at this time and we will do all we can as part of your team.
I invite you to keep up to date with information on our blog and to like our Facebook page to stay in touch.

Stay safe and look after yourself and all around you at this difficult time.

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