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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Lockdown 2 Update

3 November 2020

The Prime Minister announced on Friday, 30 October, that England is to return to lockdown on Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December. This has been ordered due to the fact that the virus numbers are surging country wide and that he believes this is the only alternative to bring the infection under control.

 

Dental practices were ordered to close during the previous lockdown which led to widespread condemnation by the public at large due to countless people having to endure dental problems with no access to dental treatments. Oral health forms an integral part of your general health. Here at Cornerways, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the very highest level of dental care and maintenance.

 

We have just been informed by our governing bodies that we will NOT be obliged to close this time! We will therefore continue to offer routine treatments as well as routine maintenance trough this second lockdown. We will honour all appointments made in the coming weeks whether for dental repair work, periodontal work, orthodontics or oral hygienist maintenance.

 

However, we fully understand that not everyone will be keen to come to the dentist during a lock down 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 2 Update
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Cornerways Update

24 September 2020

Worryingly, the infection numbers appear to be rising throughout the country. There is talk of national lockdowns, local lockdowns and even “circuit breakers” whatever they may be. It still remains our collective responsibility to see to it that this infection does not get out of hand. Please follow all the guidelines and encourage those nearest to you to do the same. We need to stay safe.

Appointment Book

We are in the process of re-arranging our appointment book back to some semblance of pre Covid days. The longer working hours have been extremely taxing on all of our team and we’ve decided that we need to get back to as normal a working day as possible. As a result, some of you who already have future appointments made may find that the time for these appointments may change by a few minutes. You will be informed of any changes. If you’re unsure, please contact us and we can confirm if any changes have been made. Unfortunately, Thursday evening appointments will no longer be available and we will endeavour to offer suitable alternative appointments.

Online forms

Some of you have reported having had problems with filling in the online forms. We are in contact with the software providers and are working on finding a solution to the problem.

The most important form is the pre-appointment Covid health screening questionnaire. This must be completed before every appointment you attend. We are currently using both the Software of Excellence as well as the Denscreen questionnaires in order to make sure patients are properly screened before they come in.

Antibody Testing

We are still offering antibody testing for those of you who are interested. If you’re keen to have an antibody test, please give us a call and we’ll get you booked in.

Mary-Lou Aldridge

Mary-Lou is returning to the practice! She will be working alternate Mondays from 9:00 to 17:00. Welcome back Mary-Lou!

 

In the meantime, please, please, please stay safe.

 

Regards,

 

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCornerways Update
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