Since starting back on 8th June, my hygienists and I have been working hard to see as many of you as possible and to provide the standard of care you should expect. A considerable number of you though had your routine dental examinations cancelled during this whole period of lockdown and beyond.
I am writing now to primarily update those who are yet to be seen or even to be given an appointment. Some of you who have been seen have naturally gone on to require a number of extra treatment sessions. Most of these required a fallow time when we carry out AGP’s, (aerosol generating procedures). This has meant we are experiencing an ever-fuller diary in the weeks and months ahead, a situation compounded by the fact that Dr Maria Rodrigues, my associate, is still on maternity leave until the New Year. On her return, the pressure will inevitably be much relieved.
Can I assure those still waiting to hear from us, (we estimate about 450!) that we are working through records of those who have been cancelled. However, if you have an immediate problem then do contact the surgery. Also, if you want to check that we have not over-looked you, do email or call.
Please be aware that appointment reminders by email are not currently being sent out until a day or 2 before your appointment due to having to risk assess each patient with our Covid pre assessment questions over the phone. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Dr N D Greenway and all my staff
We wanted to let you know what progress Dr Greenway and his staff have made over the last few weeks since we started back to work on 8th June. As you can imagine, the way in which we are able to work has been altered massively. Only having one patient in the building at a time has forced a much reduced rate of work, accentuated by the additional (but necessary) cleaning tasks, levels of PPE and COVID-19 screening questions from reception. We are all still adjusting to the new way of working and we praise our staff in their efforts during this time of change.
We are trying very hard to maximise the number of patients’ Dr Greenway can see by utilising the two surgeries in a way that is safe to do so. We have seen those of you affected during lockdown and in most need of care and are now addressing those of you who have had appointments cancelled or work delayed – we truly appreciate your patience.
A number of you are rightly keen to get back to seeing your dental hygienist, we are pleased to say that we are introducing this service one day a week with a view to increasing this as the weeks progress. With the additional requirements for providing this service, particularly the presence of the full time assistance of a nurse for the hygienist, we have had to review the fee for hygiene visits. This will be increasing to £64 per visit with immediate effect. At present the hygienists are only able to use hand instrumentation until further easing of restrictions.
Reception staff will be in contact with you if there will be any changes to your existing appointments made from now onwards or to re-book any outstanding treatment, hygienist appointment or routine inspections.
On a happier note, we are pleased to announce our Associate Dentist Maria Rodrigues gave birth to her second daughter a few weeks ago, both mother and baby are doing really well under the current circumstances. We hope to welcome Maria back in the New Year, in the meantime if you are a patient of Maria’s, any appointments you have will now be with Dr Greenway until she returns. Please contact reception if you have any questions.
We thank you once again for all your messages of support and we look forward to seeing you again soon,
Dr N D Greenway and all my staff
19/06/20 A visual guide of the changes made in practice! Click here
I naturally hope this second communication continues to find you and your family in good health despite the trials the last few weeks has forced upon us.
It has been widely reported that dental practices can re-open to routine care from Monday 8th June. We would like to thank you for your patience throughout the time that we have been closed.
Walford Mill Dental Care will be opening on that day but I would like to clarify that it will not be ‘business as usual’ for some time.
Staff and client safety is naturally paramount so our infection control processes have had to be modified in the light of the present crisis. These will no doubt be rationalised further over time. You will therefore notice some changes when it is time for your next appointment. For example:
- Our practice will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You will be asked those same questions again at your appointment and also have your temperature checked.
- We have hand sanitiser at the entrance door and in the practice. We would ask you to use these when you enter the premises.
- The waiting room has been simplified. We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are understandably difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Staff will not shake your hand
- We will allow greater time between appointments to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
How you can help:
- With the exception of children and patients with carers, patients are asked to attend alone.
- A distance of at least 2 metres must be observed if another patient is present in the dental practice.
- Payment will be card only. No cash please.
- If you show symptoms prior to your booked appointment, you should contact the practice.
- If you show symptoms up to 14 days after your appointment, you should contact the practice.
- Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait in your car or outside.
- Please do not arrive without an appointment.
My first priority will understandably be to those who have or have experienced difficulties over the past 10 weeks, before moving on to those of you with outstanding treatments or routine maintenance. If you already have an appointment booked prior to lockdown from 8th June, please be advised that we are currently in the process of contacting you individually to re arrange this, so please bear with us!
We are presently bombarded with information so I hope the above is sufficient for the time being. If you have any unanswered queries please contact the surgery, ideally by email.
I do look forward to seeing you soon. Keep well.
Dr N D Greenway and all my staff
I do hope you and your family are all well in this challenging time.
I want to reassure you that we at Walford Mill Dental, and the profession more widely, are working hard to prepare for a resumption to our usual activity, mindful that this must be in a manner and at a time that will be safe for staff and patients alike. It will be no surprise to everyone that the ban for any face to face meeting will continue throughout May and likely well into June. Even then it will be a phased return to normal activity.
I would like to clarify a couple of points
- We are still available for advice and help that can be offered over the telephone 01202 888303.
- There are two clinics set up in Dorset for treatment of those in extreme need. These have the full PPE (personal protective equipment) necessary for any intervention. However I would be the one to make the referral after all other measures have been explored.
- For many, your scheduled appointments are still months off so we have not been high on your thoughts. I am delighted if that is the case. For many however, we have had to reschedule or cancel appointments. I am grateful for your understanding on this. Be assured we have logged all of these appointment changes. When we are able to get back to work, we will attend to those in greatest need, particularly those who have experienced or are experiencing issues over this lockdown period. If we have to reschedule routine, non-urgent appointments initially, I will be asking for your forbearance.
- Hygiene appointments are a higher risk procedure so cannot be resumed until we receive further direction that it is safe to do so. I naturally urge you to maintain your home care as diligently as you can. For most of us we do not have our usual excuse of a lack of time!
Once again, we wish you all well and we truly look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future.
Dr N D Greenway and all my staff
We are happy to report that local Urgent Dental Care Hubs are now open to treat patients requiring urgent dental treatment (COVID-19 symptoms or not). If you are a patient of the practice and are experiencing urgent dental care that include; facial swelling, severe dental pain or excessive bleeding please call the practice on 01202 888303 where a dental professional will triage your call to either; give you appropriate dental advice over the telephone or refer you for urgent dental treatment required at one of the dedicated dental centres in Dorset.
You can still contact us by email for any other enquiries: email@example.com
We are continually monitoring dental updates received from the NHS who guide us on how and when we can safely plan to re-open.
We thank you for your support throughout this difficult time.
The whole team have been working especially hard to keep the practice a safe environment for you. However, given the unprecedented situation in the UK regarding the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus, we entirely agree with the direction of our professional bodies, that we must act in the best interest of our patients and staff. We therefore have no alternative but to close the practice with immediate effect. Initially any appointments booked up to mid June have been/will be cancelled. We are currently in the process of contacting those affected personally. After that time we will await developments to determine if that period needs to be extended.
We feel it is essential that we do our part to reduce the spread of this virus, and so, it is with great regret we have taken this decision to temporarily close the practice. We will resume appointments as soon as it practicably possible.
Looking after the health of our patients is our absolute priority, and so we will be operating only Emergency Telephone Consultations for our patients who have urgent pain, bleeding or swelling during this period of closure. If you URGENTLY need assistance, please call us on 01202 888303 and follow the instructions on the recorded message. Alternatively you can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patients needing urgent dental treatment that cannot be delayed, who have COVID symptoms or not will be referred to local services which are currently being set up. They will have the appropriate facilities and Personal Protective Equipment for these patients and staff. Confirmation of its location is yet to be confirmed.
As a team, we are doing everything we possibly can to remain fit, well and able to work, so that we can continue your expected high standard of dental care in the future.
In the meantime, please continue to follow Government advice and stay at home!