COVID-19: Reopening Plans and Patient Safety Protocols14 May 2020
Here at Crendon Dental Centre, we always like to remain as optimistic as possible, even during uncertain times such as these. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has announced some changes to the existing measures, easing them slightly with a roadmap towards a level of normality, which is the positive news we have all been waiting for. However, there is still some uncertainty over exactly what we can do differently, and which businesses can reopen.
What we know so far:
- Crendon Dental Centre understands need for change as we move out of this pandemic
- Crendon Dental Centre already maintains high standards of cross infection control.
- Crendon Dental Centre’s new disinfection procedures will reduce the risks surrounding COVID-19 when working
What we do not yet know:
1. When dentists will be allowed to reopen
2. What forms of treatment we will be permitted to do for you.
3. What PPE will we be required to wear
4. Will we still need to keep existing social distancing guidelines
5. How long we will have to leave between patients to allow the treatment room to ‘cool down’
We have no control over points 1 and 2 above. One of our very own dentists – Dr Shilpa Jain, volunteered to work at an Urgent Care Centre and we, therefore, have valuable information regarding potential PPE requirements, social distancing guidelines and extra disinfection control measures to put in place.
Things are going to look a little different
It does mean that we have been looking into ways in which things might change a little around here when we do open. So, what might you expect to see differently?
- As you can imagine, hand hygiene will remain a priority. We will provide hand sanitisers for all patients entering the practice, this won’t be optional!
- As healthcare providers, our levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) will increase, so we may look a little different to normal. We promise it’s still the same dental team you know and love behind the masks and gowns!
- As a healthcare setting, our standards of hygiene are already exceptionally high and we will be doing even more to ensure we are doing everything we can to fight Covid-19 on our premises. During the lockdown, we have been deep cleaning the practice and when we do return to work, we will be ensuring this focus continues.
- On that note, appointments times may be a little different to usual. We always clean the surgery between appointments but we will be allowing extra time for additional cleaning measures to be carried out as per our increased hygiene standards.
- We may also alter our opening hours to allow additional time for cleaning at the end of the day.
- We are looking at ways to limit the time our patients spend in our waiting area in order to reduce numbers of people in contact at any one time. We will be emailing your medical and consent forms prior to your appointments to allow you to complete these digitally, so do look out for these before you come in.
- We also ask, where possible, that you attend your appointments alone. This is to limit numbers on our premises but rest assured, we know that this isn’t always possible for everyone. Children must still be accompanied by a parent or guardian, vulnerable patients may also attend with a carer, and some parents may also find it impossible to attend their own appointments without their children. We understand! Do let us know your circumstances when booking so that we can plan together in advance.
- We will be offering contactless payment (via card or Apple/Android Pay) and we ask that you use these methods where possible. We will also be requesting that patients do not bring handbags, etc., into the practice with them.
I feel that dental practices will be a safer place than other public areas. Supermarkets, public transport, shops and shopping centres cannot control customer flow and protect them in the way that we can.
We are currently offering virtual consultations so that you can discuss any dental concerns with us remotely. This is something that we will aim to continue while our doors are closed, and beyond. Click on the link below if you want to organize your e-consultation
What do you think?
As you know, what our patients want is our priority, which is why we would love to know your thoughts around the measures we are proposing. Is there anything else that you think would be beneficial? Please do let us know!
Don’t forget, if you do have a dental emergency, we are here to take your calls and provide you with the best advice for your situation. We will always be here to help you in whatever capacity we can, even if that is limited at the moment. Our number is 01494 528 153 and we are here to help should you need us!