Update from Lars
It is officially Autumn!
Where did the Summer go? We hope you have all had a balmy time! We have been enjoying hearing all about the exotic holidays that have been had over the past few weeks.
But back to school we must go….
There have been no new guidelines issued from the Chief Dental Officer. So the Status Quo continues (for now). The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said “defined COVID screening questions are no longer required” and that “routine, pre-attendance screening of all patients is no longer an expectation”.
However, the public health messaging of “do not attend or call in advance if you have respiratory symptoms or feel unwell” remains. We, as a practice, have decided to keep our pre appointment phone calls in place a day or two before the appointment which are often good opportunities to discuss any concerns/issue you have with us as well as serving as reminders.
Facemasks are no longer mandatory. Health staff are not required to wear facemasks in non-clinical areas (eg. reception areas, offices and staff rooms), unless this is their personal preference.
As a practice, we have made some changes to our set up and procedures and these will endure despite the lifting of restrictions.
As frontline healthcare workers, the whole team here has been lucky enough to get vaccinated early and have been boosted. We are waiting to be contacted for the latest round!
We have not been immune to staff shortages and delays in shipments and apologise to any of you who has been affected by either. Between Brexit and the pandemic there is a national shortage of dental nurses and we have felt this acutely. Sadly we are saying goodbye to Georgia, who will be sorely missed, but wish her well in her new job. The search continues to find someone new to complement the rest of our wonderful team.
I am happy to be able to report that there has been no case reported worldwide of any transmission of Coronavirus in a dental setting. This is certainly due to the universal precautions we have always taken in infection control. Even before we put all extra measure in place- see below.
However I am so happy to say that patients have responded incredibly well to all the latest procedures we have had to put in place and we are enormously grateful for all your support and the trust you continue to show in us. We appreciate it very much.
**We are working tirelessly to update our operating procedures as the events unfold over the coming months**
We would like to inform you of the changes we have implemented to reduce the risk to you, your families and to our staff;
- We have installed air purifiers in all clinical areas.
- The day before your appointment, someone from the practice will call you to remind you of your appointment and give you a chance to discuss any symptoms (or anything else!)
- Patients will be offered the chance to sanitise their hands for 20 seconds upon entering the practice
- The waiting area will not have magazines or newspapers as these are difficult to disinfect
- We will send a treatment update with your child and feel free to request a call to discuss the appointment with the treating clinician
- We will do our best to allow more time between patients to reduce any waiting times and the traffic of people in the practice
- Any appointments that can be conducted virtually will continue to be performed virtually to reduce the risk of exposure.
- To limit time spent in the clinic we will not make appointments on the day but will contact you after the appointment to schedule the next visit. We would also appreciate any payments to be made online if possible.
- Please reduce the amount of personal belongs brought into the clinic.
- We have installed air purifiers in all clinical areas which help combat aerosol spread of the virus
- We have installed high volume suction allowing rapid air turnover in one surgery dedicated to aerosol generating procedures
- We will always wear a mask when carrying out treatments
- We have increased frequency of cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and have hand sanitizer for use by patients and staff.
please treat our staff kindly as they are trying to help you.
Late cancellations due to staff sickness may be unavoidable and we ask for your understanding should this happen.
Whilst many things have changed, we want to reassure you that we remain committed to your safety. We have always maintained the highest standards of infection control.
Unfortunately, the virus is still a threat. However, we have always used universal precautions and will continue to do so.
Thank you for your continued support.