Read the latest COVID update from Jonathan Lee
Business as usual
I hope you are all keeping well and safe. It has been a while since my last update and I thought it best to send you this to update you and reassure you all as how Dental Elements will be proceeding in the coming months. Following the government announcement of a further national lockdown on Saturday, I am writing to you all to reassure you that Dental Elements will continue to remain open to our patients for routine and emergency dental care during this time. All current bookings in our system will remain in place and we are also endeavouring to meet further anticipated demand for booking of emergency treatment and any outstanding treatment in the upcoming period. We have recently extended our opening hours from 0730 in the morning to 2000 at night to try and minimise the waiting period for your appointments.
Following Strict COVID guidelines
As most of you are probably aware, we have set about implementing the most stringent of Covid secure screenings and protocols making what I believe Dental Elements to be one of the most safe and secure environments to be in during this period. My staff have worked tirelessly since March both behind the scenes and during opening hours to ensure that we offer the most absolute maximum protection for both staff and patients and absolute minimum risk for both Covid and all other possible infection sources. As well as the usual stringent safety and infection control measures that we have always had in place, you can rest assured that our dental practice is also Covid-safe. So, please do not put off coming to see us for your essential routine dental health and hygiene examinations. If you already have an appointment booked, it will go ahead as normal. There may be some rearrangements of some of the more routine appointments but if there are any queries please don’t hesitate to e-mail or phone us. If you have a dental emergency, it is vital that you get in touch with us in the usual way. Please call us on (01372) 897197 or email email@example.com and we will do our utmost to see you on the same day. We have also enabled our Whatsapp business line which is 07907722666 manned during practice opening hours so you can also Whatsapp us.
Time for kindness
Whilst I can completely understand that everybody is undergoing such a novel and stressful period of time, please can I also stress the importance of showing kindness, understanding and patience to my staff and all others. I cannot be more proud of how my team have risen up to the challenge of dealing with the Covid situation in the dental environment and unsurprisingly exceeded my every expectation of them as they always seem to do on a daily basis. But what we have experienced in a huge surge since Covid has been placed upon us is the amount of aggression, impatience and sometimes abuse towards my staff members who are quite simply only trying to do their jobs – which is to help our patients. They often go above and beyond to help but yet there are only finite numbers of hours in the day / finite appointment slots that we can fit in the diary especially when Covid protocols have meant we have had to greatly limit the times / number of appointments we can see in a day. The Covid protocols we have in place such as the repeated screening and limiting of people in the building is all for patient and staff safety and benefit so whilst it may be slightly frustrating, please do try and bear with us and most importantly, please do not take it out on staff members! We have had to rearrange numerous routine appointments during the last few months to prioritise emergency appointments / outstanding treatment and I have to apologise in advance as it appears that this trend may continue for the upcoming months.
Having said all that, I would also like to thank all of those patients who have been to see us during this pandemic and to say how hugely grateful we are for the many messages of support my team has received praising the hard work of my team in ensuring our patients are as safe as possible in our care.
As a recap, our main extra safety measures include:
. Covid-19 pre-screening before your appointment. Depending on when you book your appointment this may occur on more than one occasion and will definitely also occur on the day.
. Covid-19 temperature checks for staff and patients on arrival
. Due to the floorplan of our practice we have had to temporarily suspend the use of the waiting rooms for our patients to minimise the number of people in the building at any one time. Whilst we understand that is especially difficult during the winter weather, we are asking all our patients to wait in their cars / outside the practice when they arrive for their appointment. Once at location, if you could kindly ring the practice mobile on 07907722666 to inform us of your arrival. The dentist / nurse will then call you back when the room has been disinfected and cleaned and they are ready to see you. Please be patient with us during this time as all the additional measures we take may mean we run slightly later than usual but it is all to ensure the most stringent standards of infection control and patient safety.
. Strict hand hygiene for all staff and patients
. Highest level PPE for our staff and we recommend the use of a mask whilst you are in the building (apart from when you are in the chair!)
. Additional cleaning and disinfecting between every patient appointment
. Ventilation and air extractors in surgery and waiting areas
If there are any suggestions / refinements to our protocol that you think would benefit the patients and staff please do let us know – we are constantly refining it to ensure that patient safety is always prioritised but would welcome suggestions to make it even better and also more convenient on patients.
So in summary, Dental Elements will be open and operating as normal (with Covid protocol) during the national lockdown. If there any changes or new updates to be made I will endeavour to update you as soon as I can. If there any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Dental Elements team. In the meantime, myself and my team wish you health, safety and kindness during this period.
Jon and the Dental Elements team