Coronavirus

As we adjust to new ways of working and living in light of COVID-19 we are taking all the steps possible to maintain our service while keeping you safe when you attend the practice. Following government guidance, we have made a few changes for the safety of all our patients and staff.

Before Attending the Practice

  • Upon booking your appointment, we will carry out a COVID screening assessment over the telephone to assess your Coronavirus infection status and personal risk factor.
  • Prior to your appointment, your medical history form will be sent via a secure link either by text message or email.

If you have any difficulties with completing the form, we can help you with this over the telephone.

If we feel that you are at a risk of having coronavirus, even if you are asymptomatic, we will respectfully delay your booking of any appointments with us for at least 14 days.

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus, please contact the practice immediately to cancel your appointment.

We recommend that patients in the high risk groups for developing complications from coronavirus delay non-urgent dental treatment for as long as possible until risk level lowers. If you are in a high risk group and do require emergency treatment, we will schedule your appointment at the beginning of the day. To find out whether you are in a high or very high group, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/.

Telephone Triage

To reduce/limit face to face contact and return visits where possible, dental emergency/problems will be assessed and triaged prior to arranging necessary appointments.

Self Check-In

On the day of your appointment you will receive a link via text message enabling you to check in at the practice when you arrive in the car park. If you are not able to use the link a mobile number is provided on the door alternatively you can knock when you arrive.

Arriving at the Practice

  • Check yourself in using our online portal
  • Wear a face covering before entering the practice*
  • Please leave your personal items within your car as much as possible (e.g. coats, handbags, scarfs)
  • Use hand sanitiser¬†provided
  • Temperature check using a no-touch thermometer**

*If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please do tell a member of our team prior to entering.

**If your temperature is 37.8oC or above, you will not be permitted to enter the practice and will be asked to return home to self-isolate as per the current government guidelines.

As we have limited seating within our waiting rooms, to allow for social distancing, we will not be permitting patients to enter the practice until 5 minutes prior to their appointment time. One adult is allowed to attend with a child or adult with disabilities; please do not bring additional family members with you unless they are happy to wait in the car or outside of the building.

Our restrooms will be locked to patients and will only be available for urgent situations. Should you require to use them, please speak with a member of our team.

Treatment Plans & Payments

  • All planned treatment and associate costs will be sent via email upon arranging appointments.
  • A secure payment link will be sent prior your appointment, enabling you to pay online.
  • Alternatively debit/credit card will be accepted upon arrival.*

*we no longer accept cash payments

Practice Procedures

You will find that the practice may appear to be quite bare when you attend. Higgins & Winter Dental Practice have spent time critically looking at every aspect of the practice with a view to removing all non-essential items that can potentially be the cause of infection.

All clinical and common areas, including door handles and surfaces will be regularly disinfected in between patients, in addition to our normal cross infection control procedures.

We will be providing a buffer period between patients to allow additional time for decontamination procedures, also allow for any treatments that may overrun and allow preparation time for the next patient. This will help to ensure that patients are not kept waiting unnecessarily outside of the practice. However, in some unforeseeable circumstances, dental emergencies can become more complicated than expected. We will do our upmost to keep to scheduled appointment times but given the nature of the treatments we will be providing please do accept our apologies in anticipation if we should keep you waiting.

 All future appointments will be confirmed by email, text or telephone to limit your time at reception.

PPE

All dental staff will be using personal protective equipment in line with current recommendations and evidence.

We apologise in advance for the necessary reduction in social interaction that this will necessitate. Whilst our masks may make us appear impersonal and distant, please be assured we are still the same friendly team underneath it all!

Our normal cross infection control protocols at Higgins & Winter Dental Practice already protects against all known pathogens which are already woven in to all clinical activity carried out at the practice.

We have collectively evaluated all of the updated guidance and observed what measures have been put in place in other countries. We feel that the measures which are outlined in this policy will reduce the risk to the minimum level at our practice.

Please be assured that all of our clinical staff will also be complying with our updated procedures to reduce the risk of cross infection on both directions. All members of our team have received further training in many different areas to ensure we have a robust system in pace.

Summary

We are confident that we are able to provide dental care for our patients in as normal environment as possible, whilst bearing in mind our responsibilities to mitigate risks of infection spread as far as is practically possible.

This policy will be constantly reviewed and updated as necessitated by circumstances over time.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or about your dental care at Higgins & Winter Dental Practice, please do not hesitate to email at: [email protected]