UPDATE: Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make Thames Dental Surgery as safe as possible for all our patients and staff. We will continue to do so going forward.
From the 19th July, nothing will change at the surgery - patients will need to still wear a face covering and socially distance and staff will continue to wear PPE. The number of patients allowed into the waiting area will also continue to be restricted. We do understand that this can be frustrating but we know that when people come to us they may be vulnerable so we feel it would be wrong to not take these small precautions to protect us all.
Covid has not gone away.
In terms of opening up, as many of you know, we have been increasing numbers of patients but we are still restricted in the number of patients we can treat due to guidelines laid down by NHS England and PHE.
We have come so far in trying to minimise the impact of Covid and we are sure you understand the need to keep the surgery as safe as possible for ALL patients and staff. One positive case of covid within the surgery could stop our entire workforce for 10 days, and I'm sure you will agree, maintaining restrictions is a small price to pay so that we may continue with a full range of dental services, and keep our doors open.
We are open and are operating to the highest safety and infection control levels. We are here for all your dental needs including emergencies and treatments. We are able to see unregistered patients if our capacity allows. We will try to provide you with an appropriate appointment as soon as we can but due to the increased demand and limited availability it may take longer than usual. *Please be advised that we have suspended all new routine patient registrations to allow those patients with urgent or emergency needs to be seen and whilst we work through the backlog of NHS patients from our existing registered patients who have missed their routine dental appointments due to the pandemic.We are seeing those patients with high needs as part of their routine care and then progress to all patient groups but appointment availability will be reduced given the impact of Covid-19.
We have to limit the number of appointments available due to the measures adopted to protect patients and staff. This may be the position for some time and is unfortunately beyond our control. In certain circumstances we will still be referring patients to the UDCs when necessary.
Our dental hygienist is also available for appointments on Tuesdays.
Regretfully we had to cancel all appointments during the first lockdown and we will be prioritising appointments for those patients and those who have dental emergencies, in order of urgency. Please do not attend the clinic unless you have an appointment. There will be no facility for walk-in appointments.
At Thames Dental Surgery the most important thing is patient and staff safety and comfort, and that is why we have introduced measures to keep our patients and staff SAFER than ever including a bespoke ventilation system.
The Practice as you are aware was always a very clean and safe environment. In addition to our previous measures, we have placed hand sanitisers at entry points, upgraded our PPE and redesigned the patient journey in line with social distancing.
We will be conducting pre-screening of patients which will include taking your temperature on arrival and your medical history (our medical history form can be found on our website thamesdentalsurgery.co.uk).
We will be booking your appointments by telephone only, to ensure that the Practice doesn't become overcrowded. We will do this by leaving suitable gaps between appointments, making sure that you can attend the practice while maintaining a suitable distance from one another in accordance with government guidelines.
We will also be creating clinics for patients who are most vulnerable, to help minimize contact with others for this group whilst they are at the practice.
To maintain social distancing when you arrive at the practice, we ask that you wait in your car or in a safe place outside of the practice until called in and where possible please travel to the Practice alone. There will be no facility for companions to attend with patients unless patients are from a vulnerable group. We will notify you when you should enter the practice. The entrance door will remain locked and the Practice staff will let you in upon arrival.
You will be required to fill in all relevant forms and send them to the Practice via email before you enter the practice, from the comfort of your home. This means that we can minimize the need to touch a pen, paper, or any electronic device other than your own when you attend your appointment. We will ask that you pay using a contactless card. This crucial step greatly reduces touch points at the practice.
Between all appointments, as always, the dental team will thoroughly disinfect the dental surgery, reducing the risk of exposure to anything harmful while you are in our dental chair. Depending upon the type of treatment provided we will need to leave a 'fallow time' between patients in line with PHE and NHS England guidelines.
All these measures will mean that we will be restricted to seeing a reduced number of patients each day so please bear with us until we move to a full resumption of dental care.
We thank you all for your patience during this difficult time and look forward to caring for your dental needs again soon!
All appointments to see a dentist are made following a telephone triage with one of our dental care team. If you wish to speak to a dentist in an emergency please telephone the surgery during normal practice hours.
Designated dental hub clinics, specifically equipped with full personal protective equipment, will handle all dental emergencies of those patients with confirmed Coronavirus.
We are all experiencing an unprecedented public health situation, and the health and wellbeing of our patients and staff remain our top priority. Please be assured that we will deliver your dental care to the highest standards.
We reiterate the need for the public, especially those from vulnerable groups to stay alert and maintain social distancing.
CORONAVIRUS-COVID-DELTA VARIANT UPDATE
The Delta variant of the Coronavirus has a slower onset than the original variant, possibly over a few days. Symptoms include headaches, runny nose, sore throat and fever. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please do not attend the surgery unless you have a negative PCR test result.
CORONAVIRUS-COVID-19 UPDATE If you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus please check the government's gov.uk website for the latest COVID-19 advice, you may need to call NHS 111 for further advice. If you have A LOSS OR CHANGE OF SENSE OF SMELL OR TASTE, COUGH, FEVER or SHORTNESS OF BREATH symptoms, to protect yourself and others please call NHS 111 for expert advice and please isolate yourself for 7 days and any household members who are not displaying symptoms for 10 days. Find out more at nhs.uk/coronavirus