It is our current aim to re-open on 1st July with a reduced service.
Our highest priority will remain the safety of our patients and staff.
It was announced on 28th May that dental practices could re-open from 8th June. We were advised that this would only be to treat severe emergency cases with a gradual progression to seeing less severe problems and then ultimately back to routine care.
Due to the limited availability of the advanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for procedures that generate an aerosol water spray we are currently unable to do any treatment involving the high-speed drill or ultrasonic scaler. With this in mind we came to the conclusion it would be better for us to remain closed until we are able to use this PPE and continue to advise patients remotely and refer severe cases to the Urgent Care Centres where the necessary PPE is available.
At present messages left on the main practice phone number may not be picked up every day.
All appointments until 6th July are cancelled and many beyond this date will need to be rescheduled.
The dentists will be having to work reduced hours. After any Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) the surgery cannot be used for treating another patient for an hour after the aerosol has stopped. We will be working in shifts so that a dentist and nurse can move to another room while the first surgery “rests”. We will have to carefully structure the day for “AGP” and “nonAGP” appointments. This will require thorough assessment and planning before booking appointments in.
We anticipate the extra demands of arranging appointments will mean our phone lines may have to remain closed to incoming calls initially. As we adjust to the new way of working and more evidence and guidance emerges, we may increase the surgery hours to help accommodate more appointments.
We have records of everyone who has had a problem during our closure, along with all those who have been cancelled. When we re-open we will prioritise those who have had problems and had treatment that was incomplete when we closed, and then we will start to rebook the cancelled routine appointments.
If you have had a problem during the closure that we are unaware of, and would like to be seen relatively soon, then please email us some details rather than waiting to phone up on re-opening. This will relieve pressure on the phone lines at a potentially very busy time.
The financial burden of the extra time required for appointments, keeping surgeries empty and PPE will be significant. We shall try and keep the extent to which we pass this onto our fees to a minimum. There will be changes to the way we work and whether we continue with the same practice structure as before remains to be seen.
We have been overwhelmed by the concern and understanding received from so many of our loyal patients over this difficult time. Thank you so much for your patience and support.
Our Dental Plans are structured to provide a way of spreading the cost of dental treatment over the year, so please be assured any problems that develop over this period of closure will be dealt with promptly by us under the terms of the Plan once we are permitted to do so. For the time being we are still able to offer advice over the phone or email, remotely prescribe antibiotics if required, and in extreme cases refer patients to be seen at Urgent Dental Care Centres. For our ‘Care’ Plan patients we will refund the NHS charges that may be incurred for any treatment carried out at these centres.
Should you wish to cancel the plan please inform us rather than simply cancel the direct debit, we entirely understand and will be happy to do this for you. Once life returns to normal should you wish to re-join the plan then, depending on the plan you join, you may need to be “dentally fit” to do so, this will involve carrying out an Exam and any necessary treatment at our normal private fee rates prior to re-joining the plan, and an £8 admin fee will be payable for setting up the plan again.