The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator for health and social care in England. It makes sure services such as hospitals, care homes, dentists and GP surgeries provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care, and encourages these services to improve.
Great news! NHS England and the Government have advised us that we are able to commence opening from 8th June. However, we can only do this if we have access to the correct PPE (personal protective equipment) and have the right operating procedures in place to minimise risk to both patients and staff.
We have been advised to prioritise URGENT treatment. However, please do not worry, we have a record of each and every patient and appointment that was cancelled and as soon as we have the green light from NHS England, we will start to schedule you in.
What does this mean?
Your safety is our primary concern – we are working extremely hard to secure the proper PPE and get all the safeguarding measures in place to make the return to work safe and compliant.
This means that we will have to schedule patients in according to availability of PPE, their health and treatment status. This again will be done to manage any potential risk and minimise spread of the virus.
Please bear in mind, the appointment system will be different. We won’t be able to see as many patients as we would like (to allow sufficient time for infection control procedures and distancing between patients) and you might need to make some adjustments about when and how you attend the surgery. We will update you once we have all this information.
When will we reopen?
With that in mind we are planning towards opening at the earliest possible time, but we do not currently have a date. We want to emphasise that we will only open when we have all the correct safety systems in place. Please bear with us if due to PPE backlog or other issues we need some more time before we can re-open fully.
What do I do about my appointment?
We would like to reassure our patients and that a member of our team will contact you directly over the telephone to arrange this. If you have any questions please email us or contact us via our website as this will help our staff to deal with emergency patients on the phone.
Rest assured, we are still on hand to deal with any emergency problems – please do not hesitate to contact us via phone, email or website if you need any further information.
For self-help advice for non-urgent dental problems please click here or on the NHS website
We look forward to welcoming you back and continuing your path towards better oral health!
Advice for patients
Routine dentistry during COVID-19 requires the correct social distancing measures and personal protective equipment to be in place. That’s why, routine dentistry was suspended with the outbreak of coronavirus. In England, dentists can return to work from 8 June. A phased return is planned in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
What will dental appointments be like?
Practices will be working hard to source protective equipment and put measures in place to maintain social distancing measures. In England, many will not be able to offer all treatments from 8 June, but practices will need to prioritise their patients based upon their needs.
- If you call to make an appointment, you will be asked some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment
- You will probably be asked to use hand sanitiser or to wash your hands when you arrive (and again before you leave) and have your temperature taken
- You will also find that waiting rooms might look a little different with two-metre markers in place
- You will also notice that the dental team may be wearing different protective equipment to what you are used to seeing
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
Referrals for certain procedures
Even after your practice has re-opened, please be aware that you may need to be referred to an urgent care centre for treatment.
Some procedures won’t be offered right away in every practice. The supply of essential PPE (particularly certain masks) dictates whether a dentist can offer aerosol-generating procedures. As a result, many practices will continue to triage their patients to urgent dental centres for such treatment.
How you can help:
- With the exception of children and persons in need, patients should come alone
- A distance of at least two metres mush be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice
- 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
- Please do not arrive without an appointment
- Patients should attend wearing a mask if possible or be prepared to wear one. No need to wear gloves.
- You will be asked to leave coats/bags in reception
- You will be asked to wash hands on entry
- Bring your own pen
- Complete as much paperwork at home as possible such as medical histories.
- The use of toilets have been advised to be minimised so please make sure you use your own toilet before you come
- Please avoid touching any surfaces/handles in the clinic as much as possible
- Avoid cash payments if possible, prefer card payments.
It will likely be some time before dental services return to what you previously experienced as normal.
However, your dental teams will be doing all they can to ensure you receive the treatment you require in the safest way.