We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health.
You may have heard that dental practices can open to routine care from Monday 8 June.
Our practice will not be opening on that day for several reasons.
These include sourcing quality PPE, implementing safe protocols to ensure patients and staff safety.
Importantly, we are proud and honoured to have been asked by NHS London 111 emergency dental service to help triage patients in pain who were not registered with a dentist or whose dentist was not looking after their patients. There are only 7 Prescription Hubs in all of London. This has involved receiving 20-40 calls daily and deciding if we could prescribe antibiotics or if the patients needed to be referred to an Urgent Dental Centre. We have been doing this 8am – 8pm 7 days per week for the past few weeks and have been asked to continue until the 22nd at least.
When we do open we just wanted to be clear that this will not be business as usual. The treatments you are offered may be different to those you received before, depending on staff and equipment available. It will take some time before services return to what you previously experienced as normal. Please be patient.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our surgery. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our practice follows infection control guidelines made by the governing bodies. We are up-to-date on new guidance that has been issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to recommendations.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
- Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment. This pre screening is the time to have a chat with your dentist as we will not be able to do this in surgery time for your safety. We recognise that a few of us (especially Dr Patel!) talk a lot but this is currently not appropriate in surgery.
- If on the day of your appointment you do not feel well please cancel your appointment – at this time there will be no issue with this unless it happens often
- We have hand sanitiser that we will ask you to use when you enter the practice. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the practice for you to use as needed.
- We no longer offer magazines and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- We have been advised by the government to ask you to try not to use the toilets. If you do need to then please ask reception as we will need to clean the toilet after every use We know it sounds over the top but these are a potential source of infection.
We will allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
How you can help:
- With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients should come alone
- A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
- Payment should be made by card where possible and we may ask for advance payment over the phone.
- Staff will not shake your hand
- If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone
- Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice until we call you. You could wait in your car if that’s possible.
- Please do not arrive without an appointment
- Patients should come wearing a mask if possible.
- Obviously there will be no eating or drinking in the practice
Dr Sangeeta Patel and the Pavilion Dental team