Welcome Back Update
We hope that you and your loved ones are in good health and are pleased to be able to welcome you back to the practice from Monday 8th June 2020. We will be resuming face to face treatment in a phased manner. To ensure social distancing we will not be able to operate at full capacity initially and therefore we will be prioritising patients who have had pain or problems during the closure followed by those who are in the middle of treatment.
The guidelines stipulate that whilst we can begin to resume treatment, it will be some time before we are able to return to “business as usual”. Our updated policies and recommendations are likely to be adapted to evolve in line with updated scientific evidence over time. We would like to thank you all for your patience during the practice closure and for your understanding and cooperation whilst we implement new and evolving measures at the practice to ensure your safety.
We will only be seeing those patients who have been triaged and assessed by one of our dentists and we will be continuing to provide our triage service throughout this period. Simple treatments that do not require tooth preparation such as simple temporary fillings or low risk extractions may be offered.
We have always maintained strict hygiene measures in our practice, however considering the Covid-19 pandemic we have implemented additional precautions to ensure your safety as follows:
– De-cluttered the waiting room to minimise risk of cross-infection. There will be no toys or magazines available.
– Perspex screens have been installed at reception.
– We are operating a closed-door policy to limit the number of people on the premises at any time, any enquiries should be made via telephone. Please do not attend the practice unless you have an appointment.
– With the exception of children and patients with carers, you should attend your appointment alone. If you require to be accompanied, please ensure we are informed ahead of your attendance at the practice. Children may be accompanied by one parent or guardian.
– All clinical and common areas, including door handles and surfaces, will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal cleaning protocols between patients.
– We will be staggering appointments to allow “down time” between patients to allow for additional decontamination, any treatment overrunning and/or preparation time for the next patient to minimise patient waiting time.
– Future appointments will be made by telephone to avoid time spent at reception.
– We may not be able to offer you as many options for appointment times due to reduced capacity, but we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.
– All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment (PPE) in line with current recommendations. We apologise in advance for the reduction in social interaction that this will cause. Whilst our masks and visors may make us appear impersonal, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!
– We may not be able to offer all treatment options that you are used to, and you may need to be referred to special ‘hubs’ for some procedures. Some dental treatments are aerosol-generating procedures (AGP’s) e.g. treatments requiring use of ‘drills’ and scalers.
Reducing the risk of covid-19 transmission
We would like to stress that our practice is already a very clean environment and there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dental staff or dental patients at present. Our normal cross-infection control protocols against all previously known pathogens are already woven into all clinical activity carried out at the practice.
Please rest assured that all our clinical and non-clinical staff will be complying with our additional procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection.
Prior to your visit
You will receive a telephone call prior to your appointment to cover the following:
– Covid 19 screening questions. If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are not showing any symptoms, we will respectfully request that you delay any appointments with us for at least one month.
– Medical histories will be updated over the telephone but we may ask the questions again in surgery so please ensure you know the names of any medications you take.
– Forms that you usually need to sign in the practice will temporarily be completed on your behalf.
– Where applicable, payments will be taken over the phone in advance of appointments or exemptions from charges recorded. If you cannot pay over the telephone, card payments will be accepted.
– We recommend that patients who are clinically vulnerable and those who are shielding delay any non- essential dental treatment for as long as possible.
– When travelling to the practice, we would recommend that you limit close contact with other members of the public as far as possible.
– Please note that use of our toilet facilities will be limited.
On your arrival
– We will ask all patients to arrive on time and wait outside or in your car until your appointment time when you should ring the bell at the front door to alert staff that you have arrived. The front door will remain locked.
– A dental nurse wearing PPE will meet you at the door and may measure your temperature before admission to the practice using a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to enter the practice and will be asked to return home and self-isolate in line with the government guidelines.
– We want to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. Appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as far as we are able to manage.
– You will be asked to place personal belongings, including coats, into a clear box which will be left directly outside the treatment room.
– On entering the practice, you will be asked to use alcohol gel sanitiser on your hands.
– You will be escorted straight to the surgery as there will be no use of waiting rooms.
– If you develop Covid-19 symptoms within 14 days of your appointment with us we will require that you inform us as soon as possible.
– On completion of treatment you will be escorted to the front door where you will be asked to use alcohol gel and we will return your belongings.
– You should telephone us when you arrive home to arrange your next appointment.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to call us on 0191 5260562. We are looking forward to welcoming you back very soon and thank you again for your patience and understanding.