Following on from our update of 1st June, we would like to update you on our plans for the immediate future. It is a very fluid situation and may be liable to change at short notice. This afternoon we received advice from the Chief Dental Officer regarding the safe opening of practices on 8th June – a ludicrously short time to to plan and make all the necessary preparations.

We are opening on Monday 8th June but the ‘treatment’ available will be very limited due the continued shortage of PPE and the high Alert Level within England. This prevents us from using the dental drill. Treatment will be limited to temporary/intermediate fillings and some simple extractions.

The practice will have to observe social distancing and the process of cleaning the areas of the practice frequented by the patient will be more time consuming. This will result in less patients being able to be seen each day. Patients will notice a considerable difference from previous visits and the following gives an indication of the new patient journey.

THE NEW PATIENT JOURNEY

Patient Triage

Before patients attend, they will need to be assessed regarding the level of infection risk that they present. Patients will be asked a series of questions regarding their health when they initially contact the practice, a few days before an appointment and on the morning of the appointment. An appointment will be re-arranged if a patient has any Covid-19 symptoms.

Reception

  • On arrival, the patient phones reception on 07950 113839 as instructed and leave a message
  •  They are asked to wait in their car/outside until their pre-arranged appointment time.
  • Once the clinical team have informed the receptionist that they are ready for the next patient, the patient is invited into the practice.
  • Patients should attend on their own (unless accompanying children or as a carer)
  • Doors may be opened by staff to prevent patients touching handles etc
  • No physical greetings eg handshakes
  • Patients disinfect hands on entering (and leaving) using the hand sanitizer
  • Patients are to leave coats, hats, scarves and large bags in the box provided for their personal use
  • Patients are instructed not to touch surfaces
  • If paper transactions are required, patients will be asked to bring their own pens
  • Patients will be escorted through the (empty) waiting room straight into the surgery
  • Practice toilets will be considered out of bounds (patients must ask permission to use the toilet facilities if absolutely necessary)

Temperature testing

  • Temperature will be taken immediately when patients attend. If their temperature is high (≥37.8 ), the appointment will be cancelled and postponed until a later date. (Normal body temperature in adults is 37 )
  • A non-contact forehead thermometer will be used

In Surgery

  • When a patient is in the surgery, access to the room will be controlled
  • No physical greetings should be made
  • Surgery staff will open and close doors
  • Patients will be escorted to and from the surgery if necessary
  • Patients will be given a tissue upon entry into the surgery so that if they feel that they are about to cough or sneeze, they should put their hand up and use the tissue, which will be immediately disposed of (Catch, Kill, Bin)
  • If further appointments are required, these will be made via telephone so that the patient can immediately leave the building
  • If payment is required, these can be made via BACS or by credit/debit card via the telephone

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