Cornerways Update

28 February 2022

COVID-19

The prime minister has now announced that it is no longer a legal requirement to isolate if you are tested positive for COVID-19. This is the last restriction to be lifted since this pandemic began 2 years ago.  We have arrived at this point through the efforts of our scientists who developed the vaccine as quickly as they did, the manufacturers who made and distributed the vaccines so rapidly and the NHS who not only managed to vaccinate most of the community but who also supplied all the testing facilities and developed new ways of treating those who suffered the worst effects of COVID-19. The virus has not gone but we are now able to live nearly normal lives always keeping in the back of our minds that we still need to be careful.

With this in mind, we here at Cornerways, have relaxed our protocols slightly in keeping with the prime minister’s announcement. We are now using our waiting room so there is no longer a need for you to wait in your car. From 1 March 2022, we will no longer be charging the non AGP (aerosol generating procedure) infection control levy for check ups and simple non AGP procedures. The AGP levy will remain for the foreseeable future for AGP procedures. We will still require patients to wear a mask when they are in the practice, we will still require you to sanitize your hand when you arrive, we will still check your temperatures as well. Due to the very nature of what we do here at Cornerways we feel that we still need to keep our patients’ and our own safety as a priority. All of the above hinges on the completion of a pre appointment health survey which is sent to you via text and e mail days before your appointment. If you answer yes to any of the questions or if there is any doubt about your health status, we would prefer it if you re scheduled your appointment.

Equipment update

Cornerways has recently installed a cone beam CT scanner. The old OPG machine produced excellent 2D radiographs but this new machine is able to produce images in 3D. This will help tremendously in diagnosis of various dental problems as well as giving us better images of various areas around the mouth to help with treatment planning for more complex cases.

Dental plan

A friendly reminder to those loyal patients on our dental plan, it is your responsibility to arrange and attend your appointments as offered by your plan. We do send out regular recalls if you are overdue for you appointments and we also send out regular reminders for appointments just before they are due. We do try and book future appointments when patients leave and e mails are sent within 10 minutes to confirm these. Failure to attend appointments and lapses in recall appointments are the patients’ responsibility.

Team update

Most of you have met Madina, our trainee dental nurse who has been with us for nearly a year and a half now. We are very pleased to announce that she is no longer a trainee as she has just received her exam results and she has passed! Madina has applied herself with enthusiasm, determination and grit. Her work ethic has been an inspiration to us all. All credit must go to her for her efforts and we are very pleased to have her as part of the team.

Please stay safe.

Regards,

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCornerways Update
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Cornerways Update

As we mentioned in our Christmas newsletter, our governing bodies have instructed us that we can now relax our protocols with regard to treating our patients in the context of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

We feel that it’s still a bit too early to be letting our guard down but seeing that the government have already begun easing restrictions and with infection numbers apparently falling daily, we feel that we would start looking at how relaxing restrictions will affect the practice.

Most notably we will be making alterations to our appointment book. One of the restrictions placed on us was to leave a “fallow time” between patients to allow any infective particles to settle out of the air. We have now been instructed that this will no longer be necessary.

The Cornerways team have decided to adopt a modified appointment book starting 1 April 2022. This applies in particular to the hygienists appointments. So if you have appointments booked already from 1 April, please be prepared to receive notification of your appointment being moved slightly earlier or slightly later. If you’re unsure please give us a call to check for any changes.

In addition, the advice given also mentions that we no longer are required to use the enhanced PPE, particularly with regard to aerosol generating procedures (AGP). We feel that we feel safer wearing our current gear and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The above changes rely heavily on the completion of a pre appointment health screening to be completed by the patient. These are sent to you via text and e mail appointment reminders. There is a link in the reminder to fill in your forms. Please do these as it is the pivotal bit of information which will help us to continue to treat you safely. If you have any of the symptoms or if a member of your household is showing any symptoms we would prefer it if we simply re arrange your appointment.

When you arrive at the practice for your appointment now, you will no longer be required to wait in your car, please come into the practice, we will still be checking temperatures, sanitize your hands and you may be seated in the waiting room. We will attempt to have not more than 3 people in the waiting room at any one time.

Please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.

Regards,

The Cornerways Team

Brian HongCornerways Update
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Christmas Newsletter 2021

It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Just when we thought our lives were finally returning back to normal, Omicron arrives! Just the kind of reminder we needed to make us even more aware that this pandemic is far from over. Locally our infection numbers are up, despite our ramped up vaccination and booster program, hospital admissions are up and, sadly, our death rate is slowly rising. The authorities are already back tracking on restrictions regarding mask wearing in crowded areas and of course travel restrictions have been re instated.

Ironically, our profession has just been issued with new relaxed guidelines regarding what our Standard Operating Procedures should now be.

We feel that this is probably the worst time to relax any of our protocols and procedures. By the very nature of what we do and how we interact with our patients we have decided that we will be continuing as we have been for the last 18 months.

We will review and reassess our protocols in the Spring and decide how best to implement them.

As mentioned in our previous update pre appointment health screening will be essential. Even if you have been fully vaccinated and received your booster 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.

The new guidance relies heavily on these health screening questionnaires. These are the basis for how we undertake your treatment in the surgery.

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.

Fee Increase

Regrettably we are going to have to increase our fees next year. We have not had a fee increase since the end of 2018. The effect of the pandemic, Brexit and a host of other factors has made this decision necessary if the practice is to remain viable.

As an example, a check up will increase to £65.00, a pair of bite wing X rays will increase to £33.00 and a routine hygienist appointment will increase to £65.00 for an approximately half hour appointment.

Children’s fees remain unchanged.

For those patients who are on the Cornerways Dental Plan, your monthly fees will now be:

Standard plan: £24.50

Plan+:              £34.50

Plan H+:          £37.50

Cornerways will honour treatment plans issued in 2021. These will still be valid for 6 months from date of issue.

These increases will come in to effect on 1 January 2022, Plan patients will see the increase to their monthly subscriptions starting on 1 February 2021.

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. For those patients on our plan, the infection control levy is not included in your dental plan and must be paid for at the end of each appointment. This was because we were hoping that one day we would be simply be able to discard them. Our levy, as far as we can tell, is very reasonable compared to other practices around us.

From next year, non AGP levy will remain at £5.00 and AGP levy will increase to £10.00.

Cornerways team news

Linda, who has been at Cornerways for over 20 years, has decided to leave to dedicate more time to her foot health care business. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for her services here at Cornerways and wish her every success with her business.

Our hygienists, Suzanne, Mary-Lou, Gayle and Alison have been exceptionally busy but they have coped really well despite some challenges for some of them. The support provided by the nursing team of Katy, Laura and Madina has been phenomenal and our gratitude goes out to the whole team for their input and dedication during some extremely difficult times.

Incidentally, our trainee dental nurse, Madina, passed her first exam in October with flying colours! Only 2 more to go and she will be a qualified dental nurse!

Personal

Our daughter, Danielle, now has a permanent position at HSBC but is still continuing her sauce business but with more of an online presence than before. You may like to try her range of Chinese sauces at https://happyeatinghouse.co.uk/

Our son, Jason, just recently became engaged to Rosie and are planning a wedding for early 2023. Jason is currently working his trauma rotation as a physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital.

We’d like to wish everyone a safe, festive and happy Christmas. Thank you for your continued support.

Regards,

Brian and Jenny Hong

Brian HongChristmas Newsletter 2021
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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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