It has now been 9 weeks since Cornerways re-opened after being closed during lock down. I am very pleased to report that none of our team have shown any adverse health issues and we have not had any reports of patients coming down with any Covid-19 symptoms after attending the practice. Many factors play a role here, all of which we must remain highly aware. Firstly, thanks to our local communities and their civil obedience in observing all the guidance and advice regarding modifying our lifestyles on order to protect ourselves and others. As a result, our local infection numbers remain very low. Secondly, we believe that the protocols we have put in place have allowed us to conduct full routine dentistry in a manner which is safe for us and our patients. Our protocols and reviewed frequently to ensure we stay as safe as we possibly can. Thirdly, I must thank you, our patients, who have attended during the last 9 weeks for their patience, co-operation and understanding that we are working in a very new “normal”, one we have not experienced before. This has made our working environment so much easier.
Most of you are now getting the hang of filling in the online forms, well done! If you receive a reminder for an appointment and are asked to fill in your forms but they are already up to date, and you try to fill in your forms, they will not appear. Those of you who do not have internet access will still be able to update your details manually.
From Monday 17 August 2020, an additional Health Screening questionnaire called the Covid-19 Pre- Appointment Questionnaire has been added to the normal forms to replace the Denscreen ATA questionnaire. In the absence of on the spot testing for infected individuals, this is our next best line of defence. It alerts us if anyone is showing signs or symptoms of Covid-19 infection or if they have been exposed to the virus in any way. These patients will be asked not to attend for at least a month and will only be permitted to return once their screening questionnaire is clear. We ask please that this particular form be completed each time you have an appointment with us as the incubation time for the virus is only a few days and your health situation could change dramatically during this time. It doesn’t take long to complete the form but an adverse result could have serious implications!
Infection Control Levy
As was mentioned in a previous update, we now charge and infection control levy for every appointment. The non-aerosol producing infection control levy is £5.00 and the aerosol producing infection control levy is £9.00. These charges are to cover the substantial additional cost incurred in order for us to return to work safely. We receive no help whatsoever from any of the health authorities, we have to source and purchase these all on our own. We have since discovered that these levies are extremely reasonable as many practices around has have been charging far higher fees for their infection control. Those patients on our Dental Plan have been asked to pay this levy as we have not included it into their monthly premiums firstly because it may vary from one appointment to the next and also we have no idea as to how long we will still be needing to charge a levy.
Patient Arrival Protocol
When you arrive at the practice for your appointment, please remain in your car until we call you in. You are most welcome to make use of the seating in our garden if it’s a really warm day (and the last few days have been REALLY warm!).
Many patients are arriving without masks. Please supply your own mask. If you don’t have one, Linda is now making cloth masks and we will be providing patients who arrive without a mask one of these for a small donation to the Little Princess Trust charity for children suffering with cancer.
We have run our first lot of antibody tests here at the practice with interesting results. We will be scheduling specific days in the next few weeks to conduct further testing. If you’re keen to have an antibody test, please give us a call and we’ll get you booked in.
Apprentice Dental Nurse
Due to the new way we now undertake treatments and also due to the higher volume of work we are experiencing, we have enrolled in the Government apprenticeship scheme and have taken on an apprentice who will train at Cornerways to become a Dental Nurse. Her name is Madina and you will all meet her in the weeks and months to come. The apprenticeship involves practical hands on learning here at the practice as well as theory work at college and online.
In the meantime, please stay safe.
The Cornerways team