As you all know Boris made the announcement last week that dentists could reopen on the 8th June. That was nice of him but there are a few problems;
- He didn’t consult with dentists or let us know
- Up until lunchtime Monday 1st June there were no guidelines on safely reopening
- These new guidelines are a 68-page document, one element of which requires that all masks are fit tested
- There are no fit testing kits
- There is an erratic supply of masks all of which need a separate fit test
- All of the staff are Furloughed and cannot get the practice setup for the 8th (you need to give a week’s notice to come off Furlough, so they cannot start work until this Friday)
- New Infection control assessments and processes need to be written and actioned
- New Standard Operating Procedures need to be written and actioned keeping social distancing protocols
There is a lot to do to provide a safe practice for staff and patients, especially as the country is still at level 4 alert. Nobody told Boris this!
I have been working furiously to get things ready however;
- On the 15th June I will be trained as a fit tester for masks and yesterday I bought one of the last testing kits available in the UK.
- Throughout June, I have FFP3 respirators arriving for all staff which I will then fit test
- 2 Large ‘Vacstations’ will be arriving soon, one is already in the building, these reduce spray and contamination when working
- 4 Air purifiers are arriving soon, to keep the air as clean as possible and reduce the time needed to clean surgeries between patients
- The practice has been redecorated, plastic screens installed, hand gel stations positioned and lots and lots of yellow tape!
- All the procedures and risk assessments are well advanced and will be finalised in the next few days
I have invested approaching £10,000 in getting the practice ready and safe.
I know you are all keen to get back to the dentist and we love you for it, but please bear with us while we get everything in order. I hope to start seeing emergency patients from the middle of June and we will be contacting the most urgent patients first in the next few days.
We are in a very good position as a practice and will be able to look after you safely very soon. If you have any problems just let me know on 07777 687031.
All the best, Stay Safe