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Frequently asked questions

We understand you may have questions about our COVID-19 safety tariff, so we’ve put together the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, relevant to both existing and new-to-Bupa patients who may be looking for further information.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is chargeable to all private appointments.

Depending on the nature of your appointment, you will be asked to pay either £7 or £25 per private appointment.

Please refer to the table above to see a breakdown of which cost applies to which treatment.

No. As you can imagine, there is a huge global demand for PPE at the moment, which is undoubtedly driving up costs. We are constantly working with our suppliers to reduce costs and will review our COVID-19 safety tariff regularly, whilst not compromising safety.

Our safety tariff is a temporary measure. We are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce this further as the cost for PPE reduces, or the need for enhanced safety measures decreases or are no longer needed.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government issued guidelines which all dental practices in the UK must adhere to in order to operate safely. It included details on the type and quality of PPE required to treat patients safely and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have sourced enhanced PPE based on these guidelines.

With many companies and people across the world trying to buy PPE, both the costs of the equipment and transportation are significantly higher than before the COVID-19 outbreak. To give you some context, in 2020 we are now spending 100 times more on the same PPE than we were during 2019 – that’s how considerable the cost increase has been. As well as the increase in cost, new elements of PPE are now required.

In addition to this, all members of staff must go through ‘fit testing’ to ensure the PPE is suitable for them.

Unfortunately, we cannot bear the cost of PPE as a business and continue to offer the same range of services. So, we have made the difficult decision to introduce the safety tariff. We have introduced a separate tariff (as opposed to rolling out a blanket price rise across all treatments), so you can clearly see how much the PPE costs and when the time is right, we can reduce or remove the tariff altogether.

Please be assured that we are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce this further as the cost for PPE decreases.

Our clinicians have always worn PPE to treat you, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, costs for the same PPE have increased dramatically. In addition, the Government has advised that enhanced PPE must be worn. Some of the new PPE looks very similar to what you would have seen before, but the safety rating and standard is different and therefore the cost is much higher.

Depending on the nature of your appointment, you will be asked to pay either £7 or £40 per private appointment.

These additional costs and PPE requirements were not known when you started your treatment. This is a highly unforeseen consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak, and unfortunately, we need to introduce this safety tariff to continue to treat you safely.

We are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce the safety tariff as the cost for PPE goes down, or the need for enhanced safety measures decreases or are no longer needed.

We hope you can understand why we’ve introduced this tariff – it was a difficult decision, but it really is for everyone’s safety in these unprecedented times and without it, we wouldn’t be able to reopen.

We’ve reviewed the costs of PPE to see if we can cover it without passing the increase onto our patients. But due to the global demand, the cost for this PPE has increased significantly. To give this some context, since the outbreak of COVID-19 we are now spending 100 times more on PPE than we did in 2019. In addition, the Government has advised that enhanced PPE must be worn.

Unfortunately, it is not sustainable for us to absorb this cost. We would be unable to open our practices and treat you if we didn’t pass this cost on.

We have introduced a separate safety tariff for complete transparency. We are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce this further as the cost for PPE reduces, or the need for enhanced safety measures decreases or are no longer needed. We wish we didn’t have to, but it’s for everyone’s safety.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, PPE requirements were significantly less than they are today, so the cost of PPE would have been covered in your subscription.

However, the cost of the PPE we used prior to the COVID-19 outbreak has increased dramatically. In addition, the Government has advised that enhanced PPE must be worn. These increased costs and additional PPE requirements were not factored into your subscription plan payments.

This is a highly unforeseen change and unfortunately, we need to pass this cost onto you, to be able to provide the same level of dental care safely.

We are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce the safety tariff as the cost for PPE goes down, or the need for enhanced safety measures decreases or are no longer needed.

We hope you can understand why we’ve introduced this tariff – it was a difficult decision, but it really is for everyone’s safety in these unprecedented times and if we didn’t charge it, we wouldn’t be able to open.

Your dental insurance covers certain treatments and services, but the new safety tariff may not be covered – you will need to check with your insurer if it’s included in your benefit limits.

We’re pleased to let you know that for Bupa Dental Insurance customers, we’re covering the cost of PPE for treatment up to benefit limits until the end of 2020. This means we will pay for the cost of treatment and the additional PPE costs out of the relevant treatment benefit, if it is within benefit limits. For more information please contact the Insurance team on 0800 237 777.

The Government subsidises NHS care and has made extra allowances to cover the cost of the extra essential PPE our clinicians need to wear to treat you. Therefore, there is no additional charge to you for NHS treatment. Please be assured that the appropriate level of PPE will be worn for any treatment.

Our clinical teams are wearing specific, industry-approved levels of PPE, which has been sourced specifically to ensure your safety and the safety of our clinical team.

We are asking all patients to use antibacterial hand wash when arriving and leaving the practice. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, we can allow you to use your own, but we prefer if you can use the one provided where at all possible.

We are also asking all patients to wear a paper mask, which we will provide. You can wear your own if you prefer.

Using your own antibacterial hand wash or mask will not reduce the COVID-19 safety tariff.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is applicable to all, and does not differ for under 18s. The enhanced levels of PPE are treatment specific and do not differ by the age of patient.

We'd like to advise patients that many images and videos used throughout our website were taken and produced before the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore social distancing rules and extra levels of PPE are not displayed.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Healthcare Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 03257078. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

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