"Absolutely amazing experience. Receptionists were kind and professional even given the current situation with Covid-19.
My dentist was very good at explaining the procedure and took great care during my extraction. Really impressed and happy I switched to this dentist surgery!"
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There is no doubt the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one, either personally, professionally or financially. This is true too for our practice, NHS Dentist. It has been a very turbulent and uncertain time for our patients and indeed our staff.
The government asked us to close our doors and stop providing care to our patients on 25th March. The only advice we could give was over the telephone. Eventually, we were given the opportunity to open again (this was optional) on 8th June, however, we were restricted, not to carry out any drilling or hygienist treatment until, correct and adequate, PPE was provided. This scenario was less than ideal for all parties, to say the least.
Just like any other business in the UK, we have had to change the way we carry out procedures and change many aspects of our working conditions to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. We divided our team in two groups, each group working in a shift pattern to avoid crossing over, decreasing the amount of staff and patients at the premises at any one time.
This has had serious consequences to our patients. We haven’t been able to see as many patients as previously. The time required to don and doff of extensive PPE, the requirement of fallow time (the time we need to leave a dental room after drilling or hygienist scaling was introduced and set to one hour) and all extra procedures taken, has decreased our activity even more, resulting in many of our dental rooms standing empty for numerous hours during the working day.
While all these restrictions have been debilitating to our business, affecting our service to our patients, we have been as dedicated as ever to deliver as comprehensive a service as possible during these uncertain times. Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure patients are seen and helped as efficiently as possible, while infection prevention control is followed and cumbersome regulations adhered to.
Cross infection control is essential in a medical environment. Every member of staff is trained to understand the importance of contamination control and in line with HTM-01-05 guidance.
This practice has a written infection control policy. A copy is available from the practice manager or reception. New staff are provided with a copy of the policy.
The Principal is responsible for keeping the policy in line with current BDA advice and the Practice Manager is responsible for ensuring that everybody in the practice knows about the changes. These are discussed at staff meetings and changes are placed on the staff room notice board.
Changes to infection control procedures are noted on the minutes of the staff meeting to ensure consistency throughout the practice.
All members of the practice are trained as part of their surgery training in infection control. The policy states clearly who is responsible for answering queries. At all times the Principal may be asked questions.
Uniforms and protective equipment are provided.
The hepatitis B status of clinical staff is monitored. It is a condition of their employment that they keep all the recommended inoculations up to date.
Any staff who find they carry a blood-borne virus or other serious transmissible infection will inform the Principal in confidence and discuss any changes in clinical practice which may be necessary in accordance with GDC guidance. Patients health will be this Practices priority.
This practice adheres to stringent and consistent infection control precautions.