Covid-19 Update 13th May 2020
With the recent relaxing of the lockdown we may be beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the increased mobility we are now allowed it is still not clear when dentistry will be able to resume. However, this may be the herald of reopening for us sometime in the near future.
Even though the immediate situation has now changed, its important to remember that the risk for Covid-19 is still significant and life will not return to what is was before. They way we work and approach care of patients going forward will have to alter dramatically. Social distancing will have to be maintained, extra cleaning between patients and possible need for more advanced personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required especially if aerosol generated procedures (AGPs) are practiced (this is anything to do with drills, water sprays or placing and removing braces/ attachments). For our practice we believe this will mean that less patients per day can be seen, additional costs will be incurred and delays to some patient’s treatment if treatment types are still restricted by the Chief Dental Officer (CDO).
During our down time we have been busy triaging all the patients who had appointments with us and identified those that need to seen as a matter of priority when we are able to. We have also been looking into implementing the safety measures and sourcing of the necessary PPE that will be needed to safeguard our staff and patients. We will be restructuring the diary to assist in the necessary safety measures and allow smooth running of the practice as much as possible.
At the moment we will need to focus on current patient care, but will be launching video consultations as soon as possible so new patients can be assessed and make their first steps into treatment. For the time being we need to limit the time a patient spends in the practice and using video platforms such as ZOOM will greatly help achieve this.
During the lockdown two of our team have been working at the practice, maintaining social distancing at all times. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Vicky, Sian and Emma for their enormous contribution to the practice in helping us through this difficult period. Having them there to contact patients and deal with patient enquiries and concerns has been a great comfort for many of you.
Once we do reopen, we will be contacting all urgent patients first to arrange their appointments, followed by the less urgent and then routine appointments. We ask that you bear with us and wait to be contacted with your appointment rather than call or email so that we can work efficiently to do this. We will keep you informed of when this will commence as soon as we know.
There is likely to be a period of preparation and team training needed to get ready for reopening and at present we understand that the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP UK) are suggesting this may be around 4th July. However, the timing of this will be dictated by the CDO and Public Health England.
We hope to see you all very soon.
Stay alert and stay well