Following the governments surprise announcement last week that dental practices can re-open from the 8th June we are now providing you with an update.
We have been working extremely hard to support all of our patients throughout this crisis with their dental emergencies and we will continue to do that with telephone advice.
We are determined to keep our patients safe, our teams safe and to provide the same high quality dentistry that you have all been used to.
We have always provided extremely high standards of cross infection control as noted in our recent CQC inspection where they commented that “we were outstanding”.
We are determined to continue with this to keep everyone safe.
It should be remembered that a dental practice is a very clean environment especially compared to other public places and that there is no evidence of Covid-19 transmission occurring in increased rates in dentists or staff.
When we return to work we will have new protocols in place. This will include the use of enhanced personal protective equipment otherwise known as PPE especially during procedures like filling, crowns and some hygienist visits which can create aerosols.
Even during routine examination procedures we will be wearing more PPE and the cleaning procedures in between patients will be further enhanced.
Due to these changes in protocols to protect us all and make dentistry safe, appointments will be longer and spaces in between appointments will also be longer and therefore like all dental practices our capacity will initially be reduced.
This means that our return to work will require that appointments will need to be prioritised to begin with.
We will divide patients into groups according to need as follows:
Those who have current emergencies/including anybody who has urgent concerns regarding any significant or suspicious lesions
Those who were undergoing treatment and had appointments cancelled where work needs to be completed urgently
A gradual re introduction of routine dental examinations
A gradual re introduction of hygienist appointments
Whilst the government date for a return is 8th June, this is an advisory date and is completely dependant on them providing further guidance.
We are therefore aiming to make sure that the building is prepared and that we can start to see a few patients as soon as all the PPE has been delivered. Please note that the building will feel more sparse as the many educational materials, magazines and notices will have been removed to make cleaning easier.
The PPE has to be sourced and funded by the practice as we receive no government help on this and therefore takes time as properly certified items are still in scarce supply.
We are therefore requesting that at present you refrain from telephoning us to make routine appointments.
Please continue to call during normal surgery hours or email [email protected] if you have an emergency and please continue to check your email, texts and our website www.woodandwoolfstein.co.uk for updates.
As we start to book appointments for the categories listed above we will be in touch to arrange them and the new protocols will include:
A pre appointment screening by telephone – this is vital so again please make sure we have your current and up to date contact telephone number-you can email this to us if anything has changed.
Pre payment for appointments-this will be by card over the telephone, bank transfer or as a last resort contactless at the practice. We will no longer be accepting cash.
Pre appointment medical history update and covid-19 screeening.
There will be no waiting room facility and the front door will be locked. Therefore patients will be asked to arrive and wait in their car or outside until their appointment is due, they will then be telephoned to come into the practice and go straight into the surgery.
When you come into the practice we will welcome you and your temperature will be recorded, if it is high you will be asked to leave the practice and return home to isolate or seek medical advice.
You will be asked to disinfect your hands and then be shown into the surgery.
If you are feeling ill or have any symptoms of covid-19 or have been told to self isolate please do not attend the practice.
Appointments will be staggered to avoid patients arriving at the same time, therefore it is vital that you attend on time to avoid any problems with social distancing.
Please attend on your own if possible, bringing as few items into the practice as possible. One adult only will be able to attend with a child or with patients that require their assistance. If others attend they will be required to wait outside the building or in the car.
Please note that there will be no toilet facility available at the practice.
As we will all be wearing more PPE we apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our masks make us appear impersonal and distant please be assured we are still the same friendly team.
We hope that this reassures all of our patients that we will continue to support them. We will maintain the highest standards of hygiene and cross infection control making it safe to perform vital dentistry required.
All we ask is that you are patient with us in trying to schedule appointments especially in the next few months but be assured we are still here to help you and will be available to deal with any emergencies or enquiries.
Please do not just turn up at the practice as the door will be locked and we will have minimal reception facilities.
Please stay safe and continue to follow government advice and we all look forward to return to a more normal life as soon as possible.
The Team at Wood and Woolfstein Dental Practice