Covid-19 protocols

In order to adhere to necessary distancing rules, some new protocols have been implemented around the surgery. So please do not worry if things appear a little different. It’s still us, but we will be wearing more PPE – even when we greet you!

Due to the present situation and current government guidance, we must inform you of these important points ahead of your next appointment. We apologise for the official tone of this notice but we must stress the importance of your contribution when you visit our practice.

Patients making appointments will be informed of these new protocols. We will do this firstly by telephone, you will then be sent a more in depth message via e mail (please update your email address with us) and two days prior to your appointment, you will be sent a text reminder. 

Think!

  • If you are suffering from a temperature (above 37.8 degrees C)
  • If you have recently lost the sense of taste and smell
  • If you develop a constant dry cough….
  • You may have COVID-19 and you should contact your GP and/or arrange for a COVID-19 test
  • If you are self isolating or anyone in your bubble is self isolating due to possible COVID19 contact within the last 14 days
  • If you are contacted by track and trace and asked to self isolate
  • If you have recently been travelling either due to holiday or business from a country that requires you to quarantine…..

If any of the above fits your situation and you have an imminent appointment with us please telephone to let us know.

  • Come straight to the practice – please avoid attending other places on your way to the surgery
  • Arrive on time for your appointment. Late attendees will not be permitted entry due to strict social distancing regulations. Your lateness will impact on appointment times of others and there is no safe way that you can just be squeezed in.
  • Please attend alone wherever possible. You should come to the practice alone and wearing a cloth face covering. We must all wear a mask in the surgery and due to the soaring costs of PPE and its limited supply, we are unable to supply you with a face covering. Unfortunately, anyone attending without a face covering will not be accepted into the building as this is a government safety requirement. There are some exceptions to this rule where the patient is a minor, or requires manual help due to mobility issues or assistance in completing forms due to capacity issues. In these cases, the team must be informed prior to the dental appointment so that we can monitor and control the number of people in the building at any one time. Additional unexpected people (including siblings to the patient) will not be allowed entry. Everyone attending will need to wear a face mask.
  • Bring a pen and a contactless payment card (rather than cash or a cheque book)
  • Do not bring any unnecessary baggage as there is no facility to store this during surgery time.
  • Please come wearing a mask We have a strict policy of no mask no entry.
  • The door will be locked – when you arrive for your appointment, you will find our door locked. This is to prevent the public from just walking straight in and compromising people inside. The doorbell has been deactivated to prevent the uninvited from leaning against it to gain our attention. Please telephone the practice once you are outside on 0191 252 1155. The number is printed on the front window also.
  • A nurse will screen you – you will be met at the door by a member of our nursing team who will take your temperature and ask whether you feel unwell, have had a persistent cough or if someone in your home is self-isolating with these symptoms. We ask that you answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge. You must have a temperature below 37.8 degrees to be permitted entrance to the practice, as per government guidance.
  • Disinfect your hands – upon entering the practice, you will be instructed to alcohol gel your hands. This is not optional as we must request that everyone follows our safety procedures to ensure there is no possibility of cross infection.
  • Avoid touching surfaces and shaking hands – please try not to touch surfaces unnecessarily. The dentist and nurse will not be offering a handshake and will not be taking your glasses to keep them safe. Anyone wearing glasses should keep them on throughout the duration of the appointment.
  • No toilet facilities – due to new infection control requirements, we currently do not have any patient toilet facilities available. We apologise for this inconvenience, but this would require careful monitoring and disinfection after every use and we do not have the manpower or PPE resources required to implement this.

Once signed in, you will be immediately escorted to your surgery by a member of the nursing team and instructed to sit in the non-dental chair. This is to enable social distancing of two meters to take place whilst the dentist updates to medical histories and obtains a history of your dental problem.

When the dentist is ready, you will be instructed to take a seat in the dental chair in order for the dentist to complete any assessment and treatment.

To minimise contact in the reception area, we are taking all NHS check-up and urgent appointment fees over the phone now prior to you attending the practice except if you are a Denplan patient.

Once your appointment is over, you will be guided from the practice by a member of the team to enable social distancing throughout the practice.

If you have received any treatment, it is likely that there will be an additional NHS or private charge to pay. Any additional charge will be discussed and agreed prior to your treatment. We will ask that you pay via contactless methods before leaving the practice. At present, we are not accepting cash or cheques as this will cause disinfection problems at the desk.

Any necessary follow-up appointments will be made over the phone by our reception team once you are home.

The above changes will inevitably impact on treatment waiting times, but we are working very hard to minimise disruption. We thank you for your patience during this difficult and trying time and look forward to seeing you soon.

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    • Ilfracombe Patient
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