We hope all of our patients have kept themselves safe and well during this unprecedented time during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Never have our health, family and friends been more important.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
As many of you already know, our nurses and dentists have been working hard against a very difficult back drop trying to get the surgery ready to start seeing patients again. The current position has been made very difficult by many circumstances beyond our control.
We have actually been open all of this time and we never actually closed or stopped helping patients. This has included those that have never seen us before as well as our regular patients. The only thing that has been different is the way that we work and operate. The surgery takes the safety of its staff very seriously and this will always be a priority for us.
Having continued to work throughout the pandemic has meant all of our staff and team are already thoroughly trained and prepared to work in these new conditions and patients can rest assured that we are doing everything possible to reduce any risks.
The current situation is a national crisis, and we understand that this can and will be a frustrating time for many. We respectfully ask that none of these frustrations be taken out against our staff. The surgery in line with other NHS care providers has a zero-aggression tolerance policy. Please respect our staff and the fact that they are doing one of the highest risk jobs at this time.
In this document we will outline some of the changes we have made which you will notice are different to what you are probably used to in a dental practice! We do not know if these changes will be permanent or temporary but we will keep patients informed every step of the way.
- Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a walk-in service at this time. We ask that you do not come to the surgery to try and book an appointment as our doors remain locked.
- We are open Monday to Friday 8AM to 5PM and Saturday 9AM to 5PM. Our private clinic is open from 5pm to 8PM on Tuesday,
BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT:
- You will be screened and have a pre-appointment assessment over the phone before all appointments, including questions about your general health and of course about signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- You will be asked to arrive at your scheduled appointment time. Should you arrive early, you may be asked to wait outside until the scheduled time if the dentist is not available yet. If you arrived late, we reserve the right to reschedule your appointment.
- You will be contacted via text message, email or phone 24to 48 hours before your appointment to remind you not to attend the practice should you become suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
- If you are in the high-risk category, you will be given the option to delay non-essential treatment and all risks will be explained. Ultimately it is your choice and we will do everything possible to ensure you are kept safe, including prioritising the first and last appointment of a shift to vulnerable patients.
- You will be asked to only enter the practice by yourself. In exceptional circumstances this is not possible, such as with parents of children, legal guardians and translators. Should you plan to attend with someone else, please explain this to the receptionist and ensure that the other person understands they are not permitted to attend should they have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- Please do not bring non-essential belongings into the practice. We encourage you to bring your own pen for signing documents.
- CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED TO HAVE COVID-19 AND DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
This includes if you share a household with anybody suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Please follow all government guidelines for self-isolation and contact us to book an appointment once you have passed the required quarantine period. Should you require emergency treatment please contact NHS 111.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE:
- Please arrive on time. If you arrive early, wait outside until your appointment time or call the practice to see if the dentist is available to see you early.
- Do not arrive late or your appointment will most likely be rescheduled and non-refundable deposits will be lost, and will be required to book in further appointments.
- You will be asked to use hand gel which is available at the reception desk. Please do not put used-gloves back on at this point as it would defeat the point of cleaning your hands.
- If you display any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 you will be asked to leave immediately
- To keep cross infection to a minimum, we have restricted accessing the restroom. However, should you require to use the restroom, please ask the reception team. please ensure you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them.
- You will be called by a dental nurse into the surgery and will be asked again to use hand gel before entering the treatment room.
DURING YOUR VISIT
- You may be asked to use a mouth rinse. Please alert the dentist or nurse if you are allergic to anything prior to use.
- You will be asked to use hand gel upon entering and leaving the room.
- Please avoid touching things wherever possible.
- Our practice policy is for patients to pay for treatment in advance, ideally with card to avoid two contacts with reception. This can be done over the phone or at the reception desk.
- The dentist and nurse may be wearing significantly more PPE than you are used to, including full face masks and full-length gowns. This may make communication difficult so please do let them know if you struggle to understand something or want some reassurance. We are trying as hard as possible to make visits feel as friendly and normal as possible, though the strict levels of PPE can make this a bit difficult.
- Appointment lengths may be longer than what you are used to, this is to account for added disinfection time and the time for donning and doffing PPE.
How we keep YOU safe
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our surgery. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our practice follows infection control guidelines made by the governing bodies. We are up-to-date on new guidance that has been issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to recommendations.
- All of our team are Fit-Tested on full or half face respirators with P3 filters. These offer DOUBLE the protection factor of disposable PPF3 masks
- We have rigorous screening protocols
- Our cross-infection control and decontamination procedures are HIGH STANDARD and we have a dedicate DEEP CLEAN of the practice throughout the day.
- Social Distancing
- All of our team have been rigorously trained to provide safe care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.