Thankfully the COVID restrictions are easing and life appears to be returning to something a bit more like normal. However, dental practices are still working under restrictions and as a result, everything we do takes a lot longer.
It is necessary to leave a longer time between appointments for the surgeries to be cleaned and to maintain social distancing. Any time that we use our ultrasonic scaler or high-speed drill we must leave the surgery for 20 minutes before we can clean it and see further patients.
We must leave a certain amount of time every day to see our patients who have emergencies. We also need to leave space to carry out treatments for our patients who require treatment after an examination.
Because of this, our capacity to see routine examinations is greatly reduced compared to the service were able to provide pre-COVID. Additionally, there is a back-log of patients who were due examinations and we have a situation where some of our patients are becoming increasingly frustrated over our inability to provide routine examinations as we did prior to pandemic.
Up until now we have asked patients to ring the practice at the end of the month when we would release what appointments we had available. We realise that this was not an ideal solution, with some patients continually unable to get through to us on the telephone.
What we will going forward is, if a patient calls seeking an examination appointment and we have no times available, we will take a note of their name and number and will call them as soon as we have examination appointment available.
We will prioritise patients who have been regularly attending our dental practice and those who have not had an examination recently.
Our reception staff are doing their best to deal with the situation yet we are getting a few patients who are becoming abusive when we cannot offer appointments for routine examinations.
Please be assured that we are doing our best to see patients and being unpleasant does not help.
Under NHS regulations, we are allowed to deregister patients who are abusive to our staff.
Hopefully we will get back to normal at some stage in the future but for the time being we greatly appreciate your patience.
Please be aware that we are still the same friendly team but your journey through the practice will be very different to what you have been used to.
This is in order to make things as safe as possible for everyone:
YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING IS REALLY APPRECIATED