Cornerways Update 17-10-2021

The days are becoming shorter and there definitely is more of a chill in the air; winter is on its way.

We feel that this would be a good time to re assess our current position regarding our practice protocols, particularly with regard to the pandemic.

Most establishments have relaxed many of their restrictions and it is wonderful to feel like we are returning to some semblance of normality.

However, due to the nature of what we do, we do not believe that now is the time to be complacent. Infection numbers are still high, and although our vaccination program has been phenomenal, we believe that relaxing any of our protocols here at Cornerways would be too risky for ourselves and for our patients. Many of you have already received your booster jabs and we would strongly advise that you have your flu jabs as well.

As mentioned in our previous update pre appointment health screening will be essential. Even if you have been fully vaccinated or regularly undergo lateral flow testing, this is an extra layer of protection for everyone. Your health screening questionnaire and medical history updates are sent to you in your appointment reminders either by text or e mail. By doing these online, it certainly makes things a lot easier for us and streamlines your journey through the practice. If you do not have access to the internet, please remember to call us just before your appointment and we can do the health screening and updates over the phone.

When you arrive at the practice for your appointment, you may wait in your car until you are called in (please park facing the reception area so that you are able to see us when we call you in), let us know by whatever means that you have arrived. Alternatively, you may come in and wait in our waiting room if it is too cold to wait outside. We will attempt to have not more than 3 people in the waiting room at any one time.

We will continue to check temperatures when you arrive, hands must be decontaminated and social distancing within the common areas of the practice will be enforced.

We will still maintain our high level of PPE when performing dental procedures here in the practice and we will still stick rigidly to our infection control protocols. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our patients.

Infection control levy

Our infection control levy will remain in place for the foreseeable future. We introduced this levy at the height of the pandemic when we returned to work after the first lock down. The levy was introduced in order help the practice cover the cost of putting in to place all the necessary equipment, procedures and protocols to allow us to continue to provide as normal a dental service to our patients as possible. This is an ongoing expense and does not only include what you may see in the surgery, there is an awful lot that happens in the background that you may not be aware of. Our levy, as far as we can tell, is very reasonable compared to other practices around us.

Cornerways team news

Both Suzanne and Mary-Lou have had health issues recently and both have undergone surgical procedures this last year. Both have recovered well and are back at work. Currently we are experiencing some unexpected staffing issues so we ask you to please be patient with us as we may need to alter your appointments at short notice.

Road works

We have received notification that there will be road works in Water Lane and High Street from 18 to 25 October. For more information see http://streetworks.org.uk/live-traffic-works-map/.

Please be aware that this will certainly impact on the traffic in and out of the village and on your journey times to the practice. Kindly allow for sufficient time for your journey as if you are too late for your appointment, we may not be able to see you.

For now, follow the guidance, stay safe.

Regards,

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCornerways Update 17-10-2021
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Cornerways Update

It has been 6 months since our last update and although it has been a really challenging time, Cornerways is still alive and kicking!

 

As we slowly and cautiously emerge from lockdown and reflect on our current situation we must firstly thank all our patients for their cooperation, understanding and encouragement. We would not be able to function the way we do without the full backing and support of our patients. Many thanks.

 

However, we do not believe that now is the time to be complacent. Infection numbers are still high, thanks to the new delta variant, and although our vaccination program has been phenomenal, we believe that relaxing any of our protocols here at Cornerways would be too risky for ourselves and for our patients.

 

As mentioned in my previous update pre appointment health screening will be essential. Even if you have been fully vaccinated or regularly undergo lateral flow testing, this is an extra layer of protection for everyone. Your health screening questionnaire and medical history updates are sent to you in your appointment reminders either by text or e mail. By doing these online certainly makes things a lot easier for us and streamlines your journey through the practice.

 

We will continue to check temperatures when you arrive, hands must be decontaminated and social distancing within the common areas of the practice will be enforced.

 

We will still maintain our high level of PPE when performing dental procedures here in the practice and we will still stick rigidly to our infection control protocols. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our patients.

 

Hygienst and staff issues

In August we anticipate some disruption to the practice as Suzanne will be taking time off for a surgical procedure. Those of you who have appointments booked with Suzanne in August will have your appointments moved to our locum hygienist or one of our other hygienists and possibly on a different day. If you specifically still want to see Suzanne then please let us know and we will book you in as soon as she returns. Mary-Lou is still recovering from her surgery and is only scheduled to return to work at the end of August. In the meantime, Alison and Gayle will still be in attendance on their allotted days.

 

 

Katy, our receptionist/dental nurse, will be taking time off as well in August for jury service for an, as yet, undetermined period of time.

 

Road works

We have received notification that there will be road works in Water Lane commencing end of July. Apparently, they will be in place for several weeks. Please be aware that this will certainly impact on the traffic in and out of the village and on your journey times to the practice. Kindly allow for sufficient time for your journey as if you are too late for your appointment, we may not be able to see you.

 

Ongoing Education

Thanks to Louise Yeates from Embrace DNT who provided the team with an update on Basic Life Support in May. This is a key element to any dental practice as we all need to know what we should be doing when there is a medical emergency.

 

Later this month, Louise will be updating us on current Infection Control Protocols which in this current climate will take on far greater relevance than ever before.

 

For now, follow the guidance, stay safe.

 

Regards,

 

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCornerways Update
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Lockdown 3.0

5-1-2021

Coronavirus update

 

Following the prime minister’s announcement last night, the U.K. is now in lockdown 3.0. This has been implemented due to the alarming rise in infection numbers throughout the country. The new variant of the coronavirus has been blamed for this as it appears to be a lot more infectious although not seeming to cause any escalation in disease or symptoms. This means that we all have to stay at home and only leave for specific reasons as outlined in the guidance published by gov.uk. One of the exceptions is for health reasons. Gov.uk also recommends closure of all non -essential retail but doctors and dentists can remain open.

 

For these reasons, Cornerways will still re-open on 7 January 2021 as planned. However, we will need to be even more rigid in our infection control protocols if we are to provide dental care in an acceptably safe manner.

 

As mentioned in my previous update pre appointment health screening will be essential unless you qualify for the alternative criteria mentioned. i.e. NHS workers who are self- testing, if you have been fully vaccinated, if you can show positive antibodies from a recent positive exposure or if you’re happy to undergo a lateral flow test immediately prior to your appointment. You will not be permitted to enter the premises unless you comply with these criteria.

 

One point I’d like to mention is that we have structured our appointment book in such a way as to allow sufficient time between patients so as to minimize the risk of transmission from one patient to another. You may have noticed that we try very hard to stick to this schedule and run on time. If, due to unforeseen circumstances you run very late for your appointment, please inform us and we will book you another appointment. We will not be able to see you if too much of your scheduled time has elapsed as this will then have a domino effect into all subsequent appointments for that day, thus compromising safety.

 

We will continue to check temperatures when you arrive, hands must be decontaminated and social distancing within the common areas of the practice will be enforced.

 

We will still maintain our high level of PPE when performing dental procedures here in the practice and we will still stick rigidly to our infection control protocols. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our patients.

 

 

However, we fully understand that not everyone will be keen to come to the dentist during these very trying times for a multitude of reasons. So, if you have an appointment booked and do not wish to attend, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can assign your appointment to someone else.

 

As you are well aware, this is a continually changing scenario for all of us and we will try to keep our ears as close to the ground as possible. We will endeavour to keep you as up to date with any new developments as and when they happen.

 

For now, follow the guidance, stay safe.

 

Regards,

 

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongLockdown 3.0
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Coronavirus Update

As of today, 26 December 2020, we, along with London and most of the south of England, fall under Tier 4 restrictions. This has been implemented due to the alarming rise in infection numbers in our areas. A new variant of the coronavirus has been blamed for this as it appears to be a lot more infectious although not seeming to cause any escalation in disease or symptoms. Another new variant from South Africa has also been identified, also reported to be more infectious but at present does not appear to have become too widespread.

 

Cornerways will re-open on 7 January 2021 as planned. However, we will need to be even more rigid in our infection control protocols if we are to provide dental care in an acceptably safe manner.

 

For now, the pre appointment health screening is still our simplest way of ensuring patients do not arrive for their appointments if there is any question as to their current health status. We have two online screening methods, one provided by our practice management software and forms part of the patient portal and one provided by Denscreen. Both are simple questionnaires to be done by the patient on their computers or mobile devices at home. Please inform us if you are not able to access these and we’ll try send you the alternative. These are automatically sent back to us once they are completed. For those without online access we use a manual questionnaire which the patient answers questions over the phone before their appointment. These need to be completed for every appointment whenever there is a gap of more than 3 days between appointments.

 

With the rapidly developing picture of the pandemic, there will be exceptions allowed to the pre appointment health screening.

 

  • Many of our patients who work within the NHS now test themselves with the rapid lateral flow antigen test kits. They test themselves twice weekly and record their results. If your last test was negative, then we will not require you to complete the questionnaire.
  • If you have been fully vaccinated and have evidence of this, you will not be required to complete the questionnaire.

 

 

  • If you have recently tested positive for the virus and at least 4 weeks have elapsed since the cessation of symptoms and you have evidence to show that you have antibodies present in your system, then a questionnaire will not be required. We are still able to provide antibody testing for a fee of £65.00.
  • We now have the capability of doing our own lateral flow antigen tests here at the practice. It involves taking a nasal or throat swab and placing it into a testing module. Results are available within minutes. This is a voluntary option and can be done while you wait in your car prior to your appointment. There will be a charge of £20.00 for this option. A negative test means we can proceed as normal, a positive test will mean you will need to follow up with a PCR test at one of the NHS testing facilities.

 

We will continue to check temperatures when you arrive and social distancing within the common areas of the practice will be enforced.

 

We will still maintain our high level of PPE when performing dental procedures here in the practice and we will still stick rigidly to our infection control protocols. This is not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our patients.

 

However, we fully understand that not everyone will be keen to come to the dentist during these very trying times for a multitude of reasons. So, if you have an appointment booked and do not wish to attend, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can assign your appointment to someone else.

 

As you are well aware, this is a continually changing scenario for all of us and we will try to keep our ears as close to the ground as possible. We will endeavour to keep you as up to date with any new developments as and when they happen.

 

For now, follow the guidance, stay safe.

 

Regards,

 

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCoronavirus Update
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Newsletter Christmas 2020

As the year 2020 draws to a close we can all agree that it has been a year like we’ve never experienced before! The Coronavirus pandemic has dominated the lives of every single human being on the planet. Virtually every aspect of our lives has been affected, we can never take anything for granted again.

 

At a time like this I do not believe that it would be appropriate for me to re hash the nuts and bolts of practice protocols, portals and policies, heaven knows I’ve published enough of these updates over the last 6 months. Instead, I would very much like to address the overwhelming sense of gratitude I have at this moment.

 

I am extremely grateful for the fact that my team and the patients we have treated since the end of lockdown 1 have remained healthy. In June, we didn’t have clear, decisive guidelines as to what was considered safe in order to provide proper dental care for our patients while keeping ourselves safe, simply because this virus was so new. The fact that we have remained healthy throughout is due in large part to our rigorous infection control policies which we have stuck to religiously.

 

I am grateful that our profession, our sector of the economy, has not been too adversely affected by the pandemic. Lockdown 1 was extremely damaging as we were forced to close completely. However, we have come back fighting! My deepest sympathies go out to those whose livelihoods depend on hospitality, travel and entertainment to name but a few. I am very appreciative of the fact that we are still fully operational and I am determined to see to it that this will continue.

 

I am very grateful to my team here at Cornerways. Every one of them, nurses, hygienists, receptionists and associates have risen to the challenge placed before us by the pandemic. All of them have gone above and beyond the call of duty to see to it that the practice continues to operate as close to normality as possible in the most difficult of circumstances. The longer hours, the added PPE, the additional work load, the change to operating procedures has led to many heated exchanges. However, we’re still in one piece and even more determined to do even better in future.

 

I am grateful to our scientists who have worked tirelessly to develop vaccines which have the potential to bring an end to this pandemic so that we may begin to resume our lives as normal again. The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to approve the use of the first vaccine and Canada and the United States have since given their approval as well. The vaccination program will be a complicated one and we’re only likely to see the effect on the population towards the end of next year. But this is the feint light at the end of the long dark tunnel. This light will become brighter and brighter as the months go by.

Last and by no means least, I am grateful to you, our patients. Thank you all for your patience, understanding, co-operation, compliance and sympathy during the extremely difficult last few months. I would like to extend a special thank you to those of you who have had to tackle the new online forms. We do realise that there have been issues but we are working on a solution. Thank you too for the encouragement, the gratitude and good wishes many of you have expressed for the care you have received from us. It means an awful lot to receive such feedback.

 

NO FEE INCREASE

There will not be a fee increase next year! Due to the ever-changing situation, we have decided this would not be an appropriate time to increase our fees.

Those patients on our dental plan will also see no changes to their monthly contributions.

Our infection control levy will also remain at £5.00 for non aerosol generating procedures and £9.00 for aerosol generating procedures for all patients and applies per appointment. These amounts are very reasonable compared to many other dental practices in our area.

 

CHRISTMAS CLOSURES

Cornerways will be closed after Friday 18 December 2020 and will re-open on

7 January 2021. Should you require emergency dental treatment during this time, an emergency contact number will be on the answer phone. This service is strictly for emergencies only. Alternatively, you could contact the Emergency Dental Service on 01903 230364.

 

PERSONAL

Jenny has fully recovered from her full knee replacement surgery in November last year and has returned to golf with renewed enthusiasm. Special mention must be made here about the orthopaedic unit at the Horder Centre in Crowborough, they were fantastic!

Our daughter, Danielle, has taken on some contracting work with Abbott Laboratories to run in conjunction with her oriental sauce business. She still cooks, bottles and sells her own brand of sauces under the name of “Happy Eating House”. She currently sells her sauces mainly at Victoria Market in London but these are also available to buy on line.

Our son, Jason, has now completed his Masters degree in Physiotherapy at

St. George’s in London. He is currently working in the musculo-skeletal unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. Incidentally, I am very grateful that he received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week and will receive his booster before the end of the year.

 

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for a safe and healthy 2021.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Brian Hong

Brian HongNewsletter Christmas 2020
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