Letter to Patients – June 2020
We hope this letter finds you, your family and friends in good health. All of us are looking forward to getting back to the practice and start looking after our patients again. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your care and safety.
We very much welcome the government announcement on the 28th May that dental services may resume treatment. We will open from the 15th of June 2020, slowly phasing in all our services over the next couple of months with the aim to provide full care as soon as practically possible.
We have to revise the sequencing and scheduling of patients for treatment – we also have to take into account:
- The urgency of needs including the back-log of emergency treatment required during the period of lock down
- The particular unmet needs of vulnerable groups
- Available capacity to undertake activity and delivery of necessary PPE
We have been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure your safety for when we return to looking after you.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our practice follows stringent standards of infection control so that when you receive care, it is as safe and comfortable as possible. We have integrated additional infection control measures, modified treatment procedures, revised practice protocols and installed equipment and other safety recommendations provided by our professional governing bodies.
You will note changes have taken place when you next come in for your appointment. Please be assured a team member will guide you through any new changes.
Here are the following guidelines, changes and procedures:
- Please do not turn up to the practice without a pre-arranged appointment because the door will be locked, and we will only let patients into the building who have been screened the day before.
- Selected review appointments, necessary follow-ups and initial consultations may be completed over the phone or by utilising video communications saving you time and helping us limiting the use of expensive PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
- Where possible, all treatment payments and further appointments will be made over the phone to limit contact between you other patients and our team members.
- You will be telephoned the day before an appointment and asked to provide us with your medical details (via online forms and email where possible), answer a few Covid19 screening questions and asked for payment for the next day. This pre-appointment screening is particularly important because we will not be able to see you for your appointment if we cannot speak to you the day before. This is due to the guidance from our regulators.
- Asked to leave personal belongings at home and attend alone (except for under 18s and those with reduced capacity).
- If possible, use toilet facilities at home before your appointment because we need to reduce/limit your time in the practice to reduce cross infection.
- You will be required to thoroughly brush your teeth before arrival to the practice.
- On arrival, please use the intercom system to announce your arrival. We may ask you to stay in your car or outside until we are ready to accommodate you. Please try to turn up on time for your appointment as we may not be able to let you in on early arrival or see you if you are late.
- A team member will inform you when you can come into the practice.
- On arrival, your forehead temperature will be checked using a medical grade thermometer. This is a non-invasive and painless infrared test.
- Will require you to put your personal belongings in a container, use hand sanitizer and to wear personal protective items which may include masks, disposable gloves, shoe covers, hair covers and coat. We will provide these items for you.
- Perspex panels or ‘germ-guards’ will be installed along the reception desk.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. This may mean that you are initially offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. We will do our best to ensure waiting times are minimised.
- We will implement a daily health screening check point and log for the screening of all team members entering the workplace.
- We will take steps to minimise staff interaction.
- You are likely to see your dentist/hygienist and nursing staff wearing additional PPE. Please do not be alarmed as this is for your protection.
- Prior to any dental treatment you will be required to rinse with a specific mouthwash.
- We will be using ‘dry fogging’ machines that will decontaminate the surgery to ensure a safe virus-free environment and use air purifier systems and extractor fans in the practice.
- You will see that our waiting room will no longer offer newspapers and magazines, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
We will be in contact with you to remake your cancelled appointments as soon as possible. Please bear with us.
If you experience any problems in the meantime, please contact us and we will see you in one of our emergency sessions.
Thank you and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this crisis. We look forward to welcoming back our patients and friends.
J Roul Rothman and the Hamworthy Dental Practice Team