(Image left shows “The morning’s PPE aprons cleaned and drying”)
Straightaway, it is important to emphasise the patience and understanding of all our patients during this crisis has been unbelievable.
Without that support a difficult situation could have had dire consequences and the genuine prospect of having to close the practice for good has been avoided.
On behalf of the team I would like to say thank you for your continued faith in us and would like to tell you what plans we have in place to move forward as the crisis continues.
So, 12 weeks after returning to face to face dentistry, things are starting to become a little clearer.
In those 12 weeks we have worked tirelessly to achieve
- Putting guidance into practice to ensure everybody’s safety in the pandemic
- Sorting out all our patients who had develop problems during the lockdown
- Completing treatments that had to be postponed due to the lockdown
- Recommencing routine dental health checks and cleans
- Recommencing dental treatment involving aerosols
The hard lesson we have learned is that everything takes so much longer to do due to the strict hygiene measures we have had to put in place to be compliant with COVID safety.
In effect although we are working the same hours as before lockdown we are not able to see as many patients as before.
This coupled with the fact that we had to postpone nearly 3 months worth of appointments due to lockdown has led to severe delays which we are struggling to overcome.
However, we have a plan to deal with these issues.
Patients who had their appointments postponed from the commencement of lockdown will now be offered appointments beginning in October. From then 25 hours out of the 38.5 of the working week will be dedicated to examinations and cleans to make inroads into the postponed list of patients. So if you were one of the patients who had to be cancelled due to lockdown then you will be offered an appointment shortly.
We had been reluctant to offer large numbers of appointments due to the potential threat of a second or localised lockdown in case they have to be cancelled again. However, we have taken the view that we will just have to deal with that situation if that were to arise, difficult as that may be. It is more important now to get those postponed appointments in the diary as soon as possible.
The practice will continue to keep space each day to deal with any emergencies so be assured we will always be there to help you should any problems arise.
We are currently experiencing a large number of calls each day from patients who cannot be seen by their own dentist or do not have a dentist seeking both emergency and routine treatment.
We have taken the unprecedented step of not accepting these new patients until we have caught up with the backlog of appointments created by the lockdown. This means that only patients who are already members of our dental care plan will be seen as they have been our biggest supporters throughout the crisis.
We look forward to welcoming you back shortly