4 Wades Hill
Winchmore Hill
London
N21 1BG

Telephone - 020 8886 1411

 

WE ARE OPEN, WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Dental Appointments during Covid-19 pandemic

To all of our patients.

We hope you and your families are well. Our community has been through a lot over the past few months, and many are looking forward to resuming normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing which has remained the same is our commitment to safety.

You may have heard that some dental practices are opening on the 8th of June, however we are planning to reopen our practice at some point further in the near future, but as of yet we have no date. If you have an emergency please follow the instructions on our answering message or call 111.

As we receive more information regarding returning to practice, it is becoming transparent that there will be major changes in the way in which we will be able to deliver care for you. The dental procedures you are offered may be different to those that you have received previously and are dependent on professional/ regulatory guidance, staff, equipment, PPE availability and the nature of the pandemic at any given time. There will be an unavoidable increase in the cost of the treatments we are able to offer. Guidelines currently suggest a phased return of dental treatments. We have no idea as of yet, if and when services may return to what you previously experienced as normal.

Infection control has always been a priority for us and you may have seen this during your visits to our practice. Our infection control processes have always been in place so that when you receive care, it is safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the additional infection control procedures we will be following in our practice to keep patients and staff safe once we reopen. Our practice follows strict infection control policies outlined by our governing and regulatory bodies. We are up-to-date on new guidance that has been issued. However this is an ever-evolving situation and guidance can change from day to day. We adhere to this guidance so that we are sure that our infection control procedures are current and valid.

Below are some of the changes you may see when we reopen. These changes are important to maximize safety for patients and staff:

Prior to an appointment

Before we book you in for an appointment a member of our team will ask some questions which will include details regarding the nature of a dental problem, if any, you may be experiencing, questions about your medical history and covid-19 screening questions. A health risk assessment will be carried out based on factors such as age, pre-existing health conditions and pregnancy. This may lead to a secure video call or call back at a specific time if deemed appropriate. If you are in a category that is deemed safe and suitable and the risk is considered low for you, an appointment will be arranged for you to be seen at the practice.

If an appointment is arranged a medical questionnaire and covid-19 screening questionnaire may be issued electronically for completion prior to your appointment.

If after arranging an appointment you believe that you may have come into contact with someone with Covid-19 symptoms, or have started to show symptoms yourself please DO NOT ATTEND YOUR BOOKED APPOINTMENT. In these cases you will not be charged for late cancellation of appointments.

On the day of your appointment

On the day of the appointment please do not arrive before your given appointment time as the front door will be locked. If travelling by car we would encourage you to park your car as close to the practice as practicable and telephone us on 0208 886 1411 to indicate that you have arrived. If there is no answer please leave a message. We will then contact you by telephone when we are ready for you. If you are walking to the practice or do not have a mobile telephone please just wait outside the practice until you are called.

Please attend alone, with the exception of attending for a child’s appointment or where a carer may be required.

Please leave all non-essential personal belongings at home or in your car and only bring the following:

  • 1. Method of payment- payments should be made by card where possible
  • 2. Keys
  • 3. Mobile phone
  • 4. Small water bottle (if required)
  • 5. Medication (if required)
  • 6. Relevant paperwork only if you have been asked to bring it in

All the above can be brought into the practice in a small plastic bag. Items ideally should not come out of this bag unless absolutely required.

Any coats or other bags brought into the practice will not be permitted into the clinical room and must be left in a designated area of the practice.

On arrival your temperature will be taken. For this reason and so that we may properly assess you, we ask that you do not take any painkillers and/or paracetamol from 5pm the day before your appointment.

Please do take your prescribed medication as per your doctors advice.

On entry in to the building we will ask you to use the hand sanitizer gel provided. Please keep all contact of surfaces to a minimal whilst in the building. We discourage the use of our toilet facilities whilst in the practice and patients must bear in mind these may be unavailable.

After your appointment

After the appointment, on leaving the surgery we will ask you to use the disinfectant hand gel provided. Payment should ideally be made by card. We will endeavor to use contactless payments where possible in line with our terminal providers. We request patients to spend minimum time in the reception area as they exit the practice.

If you require another appointment, please be mindful that the Covid-19 screening questions will have to be asked each time an appointment is made and on the day of the appointment.

If you show symptoms after your appointment, you should contact 111 for advice, and as soon as possible call our practice by phone to let us know.

Other changes to the practice:

1. Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients and staff. This might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

2. We are limiting our opening times and the door of the practice will remain shut until further notice, to prevent patients from walking in without screening

3. There will be an increase in price of all treatments offered. These are subject to change due to rising costs due to the pandemic.

4. We will not be taking on new patients until further notice.

5. There will be a phased return to treatments offered with no routine appointments initially.

6. The practice will be working at a much slower pace, to allow for intensive cleaning, airing of rooms, changing of PPE for staff and servicing of the premises between appointments, therefore there will be gaps left in the diary to accommodate this new system. This should also reduce the number of patients in the practice at any one time. This also limits how many appointments that can be seen in one day.

7. We no longer offer magazines, books, children’s stickers, leaflets and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

8. We will no longer have a waiting room.

9. Staff risk assessment and training will be carried out. All staff members will be screened on a daily basis. In the event of a staff member failing screening, or in the event of illness, for the interests of safety, appointments may be cancelled at short notice.

How you can help:

• Please be patient, we are having to adjust to a whole host of new working practices.

Please do not phone the practice for a routine appointment yet, our guidelines on how to reopen safely are continually being released and evolving. We are navigating our way through a host of changes and working towards a deliverable model of care, which may take time. If you have an emergency please follow the instructions on our answer message or contact 111.

• A distance of at least 2 meters must be observed if another patient is present in the practice.

• Please do not touch products in the retail area, light switches or door handles. The staff are happy to assist you in anything you need.

• Patients should come alone, with the exception of a child’s appointment or a carer that may be required.

• Payment should be made by card where possible.

• Staff will not shake your hand and will try to have minimal contact with you. Please do not take this personally.

• If you show symptoms after your appointment, you should contact 111 for advice, and as soon as possible call our practice by phone to let us know.

• Please do not arrive early to the practice. We will not be taking patient in earlier than their appointment time, as we need to allow time for airing after the last appointment. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice.

• Please do not arrive without an appointment.

• Please switch phones off before coming into the practice. It prevents you from touching the phone and handling it while in our practice.

Other considerations:

Please be mindful that there are a great number of vulnerable patients registered at our practice and the demographics of our patient population, puts a great number of them in the high risk category for Covid-19 as well as other illnesses. We would also like to remind patients, that our staff also have elderly parents and vulnerable loved ones in their lives outside this practice and we also do not wish to make our own families unwell. For this reason we ask all patients to be honest and fair when answering our screening questions.

We would like to thank you all for your understanding and patience as we navigate through these unprecedented times.