COVID – 19 UPDATE
FAR COTTON DENTAL PRACTICE IS OPEN ONCE AGAIN
We are very pleased to announce that as of Monday 8th June 2020, we were given permission to reopen our dental practice once again. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we have been closed. Your loyalty is much appreciated, and we are looking forward to welcoming back our valued patients.
As with all aspects of our lives, much has now changed in the way dental care can be delivered in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary consideration is to provide dental care in a way that ensures the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and members of our team. We are monitoring and following the guidance given by Public Health England, the Chief Dental Officer and the General Dental Council as well as advice from the British Dental Association.
Here is an outline of the changes we have made to our practice procedures so that we can continue to see and treat our patients safely. Members of the practice team will be constantly monitored for COVID-19 symptoms, including temperature checks.
• Telephone triage: when you contact the practice, your needs will be assessed according to the urgency for treatment.
• Completion of a COVID-19 history questionnaire: as well as our usual medical history questionnaire to identify patients in high risk categories, we shall be asking patients if they are displaying any symptoms or have ever been diagnosed/tested positive for COVID-19. Or if they have been in a household where any members have also had the virus.
• An appointment or referral is then arranged. Patients will be advised to bring their own pens etc. to eliminate the sharing of items.
• Our appointment times will be staggered to allow for social distancing, minimise/eliminate waiting times and for the preparation of the treatment rooms.
• The waiting room will be adjusted to aid social distancing. This will mean we can no longer offer magazines or children's toys etc. as these are difficult to keep clean.
• Special arrangements will be made for patients in high risk categories. This will include appointments at the quietest times of the day and avoiding all use of the waiting room.
• On arrival, the practice door will remain locked. Patients will be asked to wait outside and before entering to contact the receptionist by phone to alert her they have arrived. A member of the team will then escort the patient inside. For this reason, we would advise patients not to arrive sooner than 5 minutes before their appointment. Once in the practice patients will be asked to wash/disinfect their hands. They may also have their temperature taken.
• Accompanying persons will be asked not to enter the practice unless absolutely necessary (i.e. carers of vulnerable patients) and in which case will also be asked to wash/disinfect their hands.
• Protective screens are in place at reception and masks and gloves are worn by the receptionist.
• Following strict infection control protocols, the disinfection/airing of treatment rooms will take place after every appointment together with the cleaning of all hard surfaces that patients may have had contact with.
• The use of aerosol generating procedures will be limited to only where absolutely necessary.
• Before departing, patients are asked to wash/disinfect their hands.
As the understanding of the pandemic increases, we shall continue to monitor the guidance and advice given by our regulatory bodies and will update our procedures accordingly. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming patients back to the practice.
Christopher de Bono BDS