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Concious Sedation

Conscious Sedation – a clear understanding

At CODE we listen to questions, concerns, and requests from our members surrounding various aspects of compliance and provide advice to help them meet standards in their practices. From this, we often notice areas where we believe our members would benefit from extra clarification.

One such aspect is conscious sedation. Since the sedation guidance ‘Standards for Conscious Sedation in the Provision of Dental Care’ was published by the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee for Sedation in Dentistry (IACSD) in 2015, many dental professionals have been left confused about how to properly meet the requirements. In the most part, this is due to the national variations surrounding the standards in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Due to these national inconsistencies, we felt it would be useful to bring all of the requirements for conscious sedation into one, easy-to-read template for iComply members who benefit from a suite of documents designed to help them adhere to the standards, including a Conscious Sedation Policy, two new optional audits, and a record keeping log.

For clarity, the new G 160 Conscious Sedation Overview template states:

‘CODE along with the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD) and the Dental Sedation Teaching Group (DSTG) fully supports the IACSD Standards (2015) and recommends members comply with the guidelines on clinical practice and training. Members must also refer to guideline documents issued by the Devolved Nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).’

In Scotland the CDO requested that the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) create further guidance based on the 2015 standards. These were released in June 2017. The new module outlines that: ‘Scotland sedation practices are expected to follow the 2017 SDCEP guidance and must make a formal notification to HIS, to change their service conditions, if they wish to start carrying out sedation.’

NHS Wales also published its own guidance earlier this year, also based on the 2015 IACSD Standards. CODE’s new module states: ‘Wales sedation practices are expected to follow the Service Standards for Conscious Sedation in a Dental Care Setting (2018) and must notify HIW, by submitting an updated statement of purpose, when they start to carry out sedation.’

Northern Ireland is yet to adopt the 2015 IACSD standards and sedation practices are currently expected to follow the 2003 standards from ‘Conscious Sedation in the Provision of Dental Care’, Standing Dental Advisory Committee report, Department of Health, and ‘Minimum Standards Dental Care and Treatment’ (NI), 2011. However, in the G 160 module, ‘CODE recommends that members in Northern Ireland follow the 2015 standards’ to ensure both compliance and best practice.

The new documents provided are:

  • G 160 – Conscious Sedation Overview
  • G 160A – Conscious Sedation Policy
  • G 160B – Conscious Sedation Log
  • G 180-CSC – Optional Audit of Conscious Sedation Compliance
  • G 180-CSR – Optional Audit of Conscious Sedation Record Keeping

These new documents will be added to the iComply application as usual so that members are prompted to review them.