This policy has been written following extensive reading of relevant material from dental, medical and government sites. It is a constantly changing environment as new information comes to light.
At the outset we must thank all our patients for your forbearance and patience while we have been closed and particularly our loyal membership plan patients. We will seek your further co-operation and understanding whilst we implement new measures at our Practice.
The Practice will reopen for telephone booking and enquiries on Monday 08 June and for treatment from 10 June 2020. The availability of appointments may be limited and prioritised as follows: –
- Patients in Pain
- Vulnerable patients
- Outstanding treatments which remain incomplete due to lockdown
- Patients due for orthodontic review
PATIENT COMMUNICATION BEFORE OPENING
We will be contacting patients who fulfil the above criteria first before opening. We will request that patients update their medical histories before attending for their appointment.
NEW MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK OF COVID-19 TRANSMISSION.
Our cross-infection methods are robust against all pathogens including Covid-19. This has always been the case. All instruments are washed and disinfected first in our washer disinfector machine and thereafter sterilised in pouches in our high temperature and pressured sterilizer. No pathogens survive after this process. Oxley Park Dental Practice is therefore a very clean environment compared to public areas and additionally, there is no evidence of Covid-19 transmission occurring in increased rated in dentists or their staff.
We have carefully evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures which are outlined in this policy will reduce risk to the minimum level at the practice. Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection in both directions.
BEFORE ATTENDING AT THE PRACTICE
We will carry out a pre-attendance assessment via your completed Medical History/Assessment forms and, if necessary, a follow-up telephone conversation to assess relative coronavirus infection risk. If we feel that you are at risk of having possibly been infected, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully request for you to delay booking any appointments with us for at least one month. If we do not receive the completed questionnaire in time and we are unable to contact you, we may need to cancel your appointment. You may be charged for the appointment if we are unable to fill it at short notice as per our normal terms and conditions.
We recommend that patients in the high-risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-essential dental treatment for as long as possible until the trend of the pandemic becomes clear. If you are in a high-risk group and do require treatment, we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day. Please check with NHS 111 and/or your medical GP to check if you are at high risk.
Oxley Park Dental Practice will be operating contactless payment systems going forwards.
ARRIVING AT THE PRACTICE
We will only allow access to patients who have an appointment. Please arrive on-time and not earlier as no waiting in our waiting room is allowed. Please ensure you arrive early and wait in the car if necessary. Please attend wearing a face mask and with no belongings. If necessary, please call 01908 867055 for an enquiry. Only one adult patient is allowed unless the patient is accompanied by a carer. Children should be accompanied by one parent/guardian only please.
We will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer. If your temperature is above 37.8°C, you will be unable to receive any treatment and you will be asked to return home and self- isolate as per current government guidelines or seek guidance from NHS111.
We intend to eliminate waiting inside the practice and at reception. Accordingly, appointments will be staggered so that patients do not arrive or leave at the same time as other patients as far as we are able to manage.
When using the restrooms, please do your best to ensure that you leave the facilities as you would expect to find them and wash your hand thoroughly. The restrooms will be regularly disinfected between patients.
If you are well, we will direct you straight to the surgery and request that you do the following before or during your appointment:
- Use the hand sanitiser in the reception area
- We may ask you to use a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash before some dental treatments are provided
- A high-volume suction system will be used to reduce any airbourne contamination.
- Rubber dam or other barrier mechanisms will be used for more procedures than previously.
Our team at Oxley Park dental Practice have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection.
You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend.
All clinical and common areas including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in addition to our normal surface cleaning protocols between patients.
Our team will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for additional decontamination procedures, allow for any treatment overruns and allow preparation time for the next patient so that they do not need to wait in the reception area.
We will additionally be using air purification systems to reduce any airbourne pathogens in the waiting room and surgeries and use a fogger to assist with providing clean safe air.
All future appointments will be made and confirmed by email, SMS or telephone to limit your time spent at reception.
All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment (FFP3 facemasks, gloves, gowns, aprons etc) in line with current recommendations and evidence. Whilst our masks may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!
We have taken every step to ensure your and our safety and mitigate any infection risk of infection spread as far as practically possible.
This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by scientific evidence over time.
If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at Oxley Park Dental Practice please do not hesitate to contact us on 01908 867055 or [email protected]. We’re here to help and take good care of you!
With thanks and kind regards
Oxley Park Dental Practice.