Dental Protection have annouced its delight that the Department of Health (DoH) have launched a system of health clearance for healthcare workers living with HIV whose disease is adequately controlled, so that they are able to return to their chosen profession.
For the dental profession in England this means that a number of colleagues will now be able to return to work as soon as February 2014 provided they comply with the details of the clearance procedure that is being overseen by Public Health (England). The devolved health authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will no doubt clarify the situation in due course.
Kevin Lewis, Dental Director of Dental Protection said; ‘We have been lobbying for a change to the regulations that recognised the latest evidence since 2005 and we know from first-hand experience that the intervening nine years have seen dental careers terminated at considerable cost (emotional and financial) for the individuals involved. I was glad to learn that our legal challenge to the department accelerated the development of the new clearance procedure. It would not have been possible for us to pursue the legal challenge without the courage of the dental member who agreed to have their name used in this case. It has been a successful outcome for all healthcare professionals and a clear demonstration of how Dental Protection is prepared to go the "extra mile" on behalf of dental members.'