Cornerways Update

Cornerways update

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.

Online forms

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.

 Antibody Testing

 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.

Regards,

The Cornerways team

Brian HongCornerways Update
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Denscreen

Denscreen

With regard to antibody testing mentioned in the previous update, I am pleased to announce that we have teamed up with a newly formed group called Denscreen. More information and how their system works can be found at: https://denscreen.co.uk/about-denscreen

Denscreen are a partnership formed between leading dental and infectious disease experts. Primarily, they provide screening services which aim to tackle and minimise the risk of Coronavirus in the dental workplace. This is achieved by providing training for the staff here at Cornerways, a triage system for patients before they come in to the practice and then qualify that triage with an antibody test.

I have completed the Level 3 Denscreen training program and would like the rest of my team to complete the relevant level of training appropriate to their roles in the practice.

In the last few weeks, we have been telephoning our patients to assess their Covid-19 status before they come in for their appointments. Now with the Advance Triage Assistant (ATA) we can assess and categorise our patients by current infection status before they step in to the practice. We can now send a bespoke link to our patients pre appointment so that we can defer high risk patients and accept the medium and low risk patients for further assessment. Once completed, your answers are sent back to us and are stored in your patient record. The ATA scores the patient’s vulnerability and their dental need so that our clinical team are able to make highly informed risk decisions, remotely.

The antibody test forms the third leg of the Denscreen system. This qualifies the triage results by letting us know who has previously been infected by the virus. This information allows us to make far better informed decisions as to how best to handle a patient’s treatment. There are many other advantages to knowing your Covid-19 antibody status which can affect future lifestyle decisions affecting you and those close to you. We are hoping to be able to offer antibody testing by mid July. We estimate the cost of the test will be approximately £65.00. If you are interested in the antibody test, please indicate your interest in the ATA. Please note, antibody testing is a voluntary option and does not affect your current status here at Cornerways.

Aidan Curtis

Aiden Curtis has been a general dental practitioner in Findon Valley for several years. During lockdown, he made the sad decision not to continue his practice and take early retirement. He asked me if I would take over his patient’s dental care and I have accepted. We’d like to extend these patients a very warm welcome and assure them of the very best dental care with dignity and respect. We wish Aidan the very best for a restful and healthy retirement.

Extended hours:

In order to try catch up with our lockdown backlog, we have decided to open the practice from 8:00 am on certain days for the forseeable future or at least until we have eliminated the backlog. Hopefully we should be up to date within a few weeks.

In the meantime take very good care of yourselves. Stay safe, we’re not out of the woods just yet.

Regards,

Brian Hong

Brian HongDenscreen
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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus update

Breaking news this week is that the UK’s coronavirus alert level has been moved from level 4 to level 3. This means that transmission of the virus is no longer judged to be “high or exponentially rising”. This opens the door for physical distancing measures to be cut and a speedier return to life as we knew it. Mention has also been made of bars and restaurants re-opening early in July.

 

We have now completed our second week back at work after lockdown and apart from a few small hiccups, everything ran very smoothly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have attended these last 2 weeks for being so patient, understanding and compliant with our new operating procedures. You have made our working environment here so much easier. Many thanks!

 

We were all fit tested for our new respirators on Saturday 20 June. This involved thoroughly checking that our respirators fit us properly and that our safety is ensured. In the surgeries now, we will look like a cross between Darth Vader and the Minions!

 

There has been much written, debated and argued about the threat of the so-called aerosols we produce during our routine dental procedures. The science tells us that provided we wear all the appropriate PPE, the threat to us is minimal. The threat to our patients is probably less. However, this does not mean that we will sit idly by with our fingers crossed, hoping for the best. We will be taking delivery of two air purifying units on Monday 22 June, one for each surgery. According to the manufacturers, these units are able to filter out particles in the air down to 0.0146 micron in size. The coronavirus is about 0.1 micron in size. Theoretically then, these units will be able to remove all potentially harmful particles from the air in our two surgeries. In addition, we will allow for some so-called fallow time between patients, so that if any hazardous particles are floating about in the air, there is enough time for them to settle on to a surface and then be simply wiped away with a detergent. In addition to this, all windows and in both surgeries will be left open during this fallow time to allow for maximum air exchange. By so doing, we are minimizing the risk of cross infection within the surgeries.

 

With the above in place, we will be ready to commence routine dental work probably by the first week of July. This will include Guided Biofilm Therapy which as you know is the new improved method to clean your teeth.

 

Patient Portal

Last week we installed a new piece of software which will allow patients to complete forms such as patient details, medical history, oral health survey and contact consent via their internet connected devices through their Patient Portal. You will receive an e mail or text from us asking you to fill out your forms. There is a small video clip enclosed in this

e mail showing you how to use the Portal. To access the Pateint Portal, click or tap on “Fill out your forms” then simply enter your surname and date of birth. Then please complete or update your forms as comrehensively as possible. In future, the Covid-19 questionnaire and treatment plans could be added too to further enhance this service.

 

Antibody Testing

We are investigating the possibility of implementing coronavirus antibody testing here at Cornerways. This test will provide results within 15-20 minutes and will provide information as to whether patients have or have not been previously been infected with the virus. Many people have reported that they think they were affected and report all the pathognomonic symptoms. A positive result would imply a possible future immunity allowing these individuals to make better informed decisions as to how their lives can be managed. Such individuals could also donate plasma which has been shown to help those patients currently fighting the disease. For us, knowing your antibody status may even help us to better manage your treatment protocols. This antibody test is purely elective and will not be a requirement for patients to receive treatment at this practice. Watch this space!

 

In the meantime, take advantage of the new relaxed measures but remember to stay aware! We’re all in this together, we will get through this!

 

Stay safe.

 

Regards,

 

Brian Hong

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Practice refurbishment

We are always keeping up to date with the latest technologies and advances in the field of dentistry, and we are pleased to share with you the latest images of our surgery refurbishment. Take a look through the images below, and as ever, we would love to hear your feedback!

Brian HongPractice refurbishment
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Fluoride application program at Cornerways

Initiated by our Oral Health Educator, Linda Cooper, Cornerways Dental Practice will begin a topical fluoride application program in the half term week 15-19 February 2016.

In accordance with Public Health England’s document “Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention“, all children and adults at risk from dental decay should have topical fluoride applied to their teeth at least twice per year.

Fluoride acts to prevent dental decay by strengthening tooth enamel as well as discouraging dental plaque (the prime cause of decay) from adhering to the tooth surface.

This program was born out of Linda’s regular visits into the community, particularly to schools, to spread the word about good dental habits, including oral hygiene instruction and dietary advice. Now we have the capability to apply a prevention program in house for all children and those adults at greater risk of developing tooth decay.

For more information please call 01903 782530.

Brian HongFluoride application program at Cornerways
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