The return of dental care: “the COVID-19 patient journey”
POSTED BY BRIXHAM DENTAL PRACTICE SEPTEMBER 2020
The whole team at Brixham Dental Practice are working hard to ensure that your visit to the dental practice will be a pleasant, effective, and most importantly a safe experience. Many of the procedures and protocols that were routinely part of safe delivery of dental care are already well developed and practiced at Brixham Dental Practice.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have upgraded many of these routines to ensure that we are offering you the latest in safe dental environments. The risk of virus particle contamination is managed carefully in all areas of the building and clinical room.
We are keen to prepare our practice prior to your visit as much as possible in order to limit the time you spend in the practice and to allow us to manage your dental problem efficiently and effectively while you are with us. We will endeavour to manage as much pre-visit admin and consultation with you over the phone and by email to streamline your actual onsite visit.
As per the Chief Dental Officer’s recommendations, the sequencing and scheduling of patients for treatment as services resume will take into account:
- The urgency of needs;
- The particular needs of vulnerable people;
- Available capacity to undertake activity.
Rest assured, we have not forgotten about you but we have to work through the list of patients as above.
Please look at the following Brixham Dental Practice guidance that will help us look after you during your visit.
- If you are unwell for any reason it is better for you not to come into the Dental Practice. If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19 please stay at home and follow NHS guidance;
- We are not able to allow last minute brushings at the practice during this pandemic to avoid cross contamination; please prepare yourself at home to have freshly scrubbed teeth using your routine oral hygiene measures.
- We will call you prior to the day of your appointment to go through some Covid-19 questions and to check there have been no changes to your medical history.
- All patients will be seen by appointment only;
- All payments will be taken via telephone prior to the appointment. In any case, please remember to bring your credit/debit card.
- Our usual sitting room has been redesigned to be kept as clear as possible and guarantee social distancing.
- Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes early to your appointment unless you have been requested to do so.
- Please attend your appointment via the back entrance in our car park, where a tea member will collect you.
- Please do not bring anyone with you into the building unless this person is accompanying a vulnerable adult, a disabled person or children. Please plan to keep siblings and other family and friends out of the building;
- Please try to arrive cool and calm. Please don’t run or race your bike to your appointment as your body temperature will be raised and you might appear feverish;
- Upon arrival, a team member will unlock the door and use an infra-red thermometer to measure your body temperature. If you are feverish we will ask you follow NHS self-isolation guidance and to rebook your appointment for at least two weeks’ time;
- As you are invited into the building we will ask you to disinfect your hands using the hand sanitiser and offer you a face mask that simply hooks over your ears and covers your mouth and nose and to place some gloves on. Our reception team are there to help you and will now be wearing a mask and behind a screen to protect their working environment;
- We would like to request you to ideally use the toilet facilities prior to your visit to the surgery as we ought to keep you in the premises for as little time as possible after your treatment session;
- Our team will be wearing various levels of PPE but we are all likely to, at least be wearing a mask, visor, apron and some gloves as we greet you;
- We will allocate a seat for you in one of our waiting areas and you will be requested to remain in that place until you are called into the surgery in order to maintain social distancing. Be aware, spaces in our waiting areas are limited;
- We will then invite you into one of our surgeries which would have been thoroughly disinfected and sterilised to guarantee the safest clinical environment. For treatments involving aerosols (many dental treatments), your dentist and dental nurse will be wearing some extra layers of PPE, don’t be frightened.
- You will be requested to place your personal belongings and coats in a box in order to minimise contamination of your clothing and other belongings with aerosol. If you are having an aerosol treatment you may be required to wear a hair net.
- At the end of your procedure you can have the usual mouthwash rinse but please try to avoid splutter. You will then be requested to put your facemask back on before leaving the room;
- We are currently making further appointments in the surgery at the moment to minimise time spent in the reception area; if you do not have your diary you can call our receptionist when you get home to arrange this.
- A team member will then collect you from the surgery where they will take you to the front door and ask you to remove your gloves and mask and escort you out the front door;
- All your treatments will be planned carefully and will be managed in a calm and extra safe environment. Due to the extra expense related to PPE a temporary surcharge of £20 will apply to all aerosol generating procedures;
At Brixham Dental Practice we are determined that your experiences under our care continue to be effective, reassuring and safe as possible.
Thank you very much for your cooperation during these difficult times.