Introduction: Dental staff are considered to be at increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, and national concerns about personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff safety have been widely reported. This study explores the views of staff working in Urgent Dental Care Centres (UDCCs) during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Aims: To explore clinical staff views and experiences of PPE and personal safety while working in NHS Tayside's UDCCs during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey.

Materials and methods: A questionnaire was emailed to staff working within NHS Tayside UDCCs during the first lockdown. The questions related to PPE, working environment, personal safety and wellbeing. This paper focuses on PPE and personal safety.

Results: Of the 176 invited to participate, 116 completed the questionnaire. The majority confirmed that they always had access to appropriate PPE and few had concerns about personal safety.

Discussion: Despite having worked in a high-risk environment throughout the lockdown, staff supporting the Tayside UDCCs felt safe and well-protected. This runs counter to widely reported anxieties about PPE and safety across the UK. Further investigation is required to understand this disparity.

Conclusion: The results indicate that PPE was adequate, accessible and staff felt protected.


Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.© The Author(s) 2022

Cite as

Scott, C., Stevenson, B., Curnow, M. & Young, L. 2022, 'How NHS Tayside dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic within Urgent Dental Care Centres: clinical staff views and experiences', British Dental Journal. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-022-4462-9

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Last updated: 03 October 2022
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