The latest NEW Information About the Coronavirus Crisis and Our Practice
Updated 29th June 2020
Hello again from us all at the practice.
We are delighted to announce that we are now back at the practice each day seeing patients as Wales has entered the amber phase of dental de-escalation. We remain very grateful to everyone for their patience and understanding during the past three months and we have now begun working through our backlog of appointments.
The de-escalation protocols dictate that initially appointments have to be by invite only, after telephone triage, to ensure we first provide non-aerosol generating treatment for those patients most in need, and later on in July we hope to be clear to re-start aerosol generating procedures for those with problems too.
Then towards the end of July or into August we hope to be able to re-start more routine care on the patients who have ongoing dental disease that needs regular maintenance, e.g. hygienist treatment for periodontal disease, and finally we will re-start routine care for all our patients. The timing for this last stage will be dependent on the further easing of social distancing measures by the Welsh government and our capacity within the practice.
Initially, we will be starting quite slowly and have very limited capacity for appointments. Initially our appointments will have to be offered at set times throughout the day and the times we can offer will be dependent on the type of treatment needed because we have to follow strict separation protocols to maintain social distancing within the practice and allow appropriate time for many deep cleans of the practice each day. As we get used to the new protocols, we hope to be able to increase our appointment capacity over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you have a new dental problem please call us, but it is quite possible that we will not be able to immediately answer the phone, so leave a message on our answerphone (or email us) and we will get back to you to triage your problem, and if necessary provide appropriate advice until we can arrange an appointment, if one is needed.
Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic continues, your visit experience will be somewhat different to before. Ahead of every appointment we must undertake a COVID screening questionnaire and will send you emails with information and instructions on how the appointment will work and the procedure for entry to the practice.
We want to reassure you that receiving dental care will be safe. Excluding only operating theatres, a dental surgery is the most regulated healthcare setting in the U.K. The levels of cross-infection control are second to none and we prioritise and follow every regulation regarding infection control, as we always have done. On top of this:
• we have already installed air filtration units in our surgeries which will efficiently remove any viruses, bacteria and fungi that might be lingering in the air
• new protocols have been introduced, including new entry and departures requirements, for everyone will keep risks to the absolute minimum
• our PPE will protect both us and you (and will be used by both our clinical and non-clinical staff)
• as before, all parts of our practice (including non-clinical areas) will continue to be thoroughly disinfected before and after each patient visit
• apart from during actual treatment (where appropriate PPE will be used), we will maintain physical distancing from you at the practice
• many aspects of our reception work will be done remotely (or from a back room) so every patient has the minimum number of interactions with other people whilst visiting the practice
• we will have special appointment slots and advice for anyone needing or wanting treatment who is shielding or considered higher risk of the effects of COVID-19 to ensure their distancing from others
• we will not be allowing entry for anyone (patients, staff, visitors) who has any symptoms of COVID-19, however minimal, at the practice
The new rules will mean that no-one displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, will be allowed to enter the practice, nor will anyone self-isolating for any reason, including under the test, trace and protect system. This also applies to our staff. Telephone pre-screening and pre-appointment triage will be required for every visit, followed by new protocols on attending the practice.
Again, many thanks for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you at the practice soon.