An update on NHS dental services at our practice
For patients who are attending their pre-booked appointment:
As you will know, the Prime Minister has confirmed that public restrictions are significantly eased on 19th July. Under the Government's guidance "Health and care settings will continue to maintain appropriate infection prevention and control processes as necessary and this will be continually reviewed. Guidance will be updated based on the latest clinical evidence this summer." You can find this online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19- response-summer-2021-roadmap/covid-19-response-summer-2021#contents
In line with the Government’s guidance, England’s Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley has informed us that the infection prevention control measures in dentistry should continue to be followed until further notice. These are important measures from Public Health England aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in dental settings. We’re also continuing to follow NHS dentistry’s standard operating procedure which helps us make this guidance work.
This means three things for patients:
1. If you need to come into the surgery for an appointment, please remember that social distancing remains in place in the dental practice and to wear a face covering upon entering the building.
2. We will continue to have restrictions on leaving time between patients to ventilate rooms if we perform an aerosol generating procedure. An aerosol generating 2 procedure (AGP) is a medical procedure that can result in the release of airborne particles (aerosols) from the respiratory tract when treating someone who is suspected or known to be suffering from an infectious agent transmitted wholly or partly by the airborne or droplet route. In dentistry, for example, this means the use of something like a high speed drill. This impacts how many patients we can fit into a working day. We have invested in drills that do not make aerosols but certain procedures will still produce them, such as cleaning of teeth and gums.
3. We are also following the Chief Dental Officer’s advice that we should prioritise patients for treatment based on urgency and priority groups, such as those more at risk of dental disease or children. Similar public health measures are still in place for hospitals and GP practices, too. Every dental practice is working extremely hard to provide care to our patients within the restrictions and guidance to ensure it’s safe to visit the dentist. We hope that this helps clarify why these measures are in place for every NHS dental practice.
1/ You should come alone to the appointment unless a parent/guardian or carer. (pre booked professional translators provided by the NHS are allowed)
2/ A distance of 2 metres must be observed or 1 metre plus
3/ Payment should be made by cards.
4/ You should hand sanitise on arrival
5/ Treatment is only provided by an appointment
6/ You should arrive on time for the appointment. If you are early you will be asked to wait outside, if you are more than 5 min late, you will not be seen.
7/ Our toilets are not in use, so please make sure you use the toilet and brush your teeth before arrival.
With many thanks,
From all of us at St. Mary's Dental Practice