As of the 1st November 2020 we have now moved into “Phase 4” of the remobilisation of NHS dental services as advised by the Scottish Government. As such, dental practices now have authorisation to offer the full range of NHS services to patients in need of both urgent and non-urgent care, however, this unfortunately does not mean that we are able to return to “business as usual”. The Chief Dental Officer for Scotland and NHS Lanarkshire director of dentistry have also acknowledged that this is the case for all NHS dental services across Scotland.
Although we can now offer a full range of NHS treatments as above, we note that we face a backlog of patient appointments and a limited capacity to provide treatment. We also have a limited amount of PPE available and we therefore must prioritise appointments based on a clinical need. Priority will be given to:
Dental Emergencies - Those who suffer from severe pain, swelling, dental trauma or bleeding will be treated within 24 hours and anyone with broken teeth or lost fillings will be seen as soon as possible;
Incomplete/Open Treatment courses - Any patients who started treatment prior to COVID-19 or who were treated for emergencies over this period will be contacted to complete outstanding treatment.
We will also be able to register new patients at the practice in order to facilitate access to NHS EMERGENCY CARE should this be necessary.
Less priority will be given to non-essentials treatments such as:
Veneers & crowns;
Any other cosmetic treatments
We will also begin to contact patients in due course to schedule check-ups in the near future. We will be operating a triaging system where patients will be assessed and rebooked based on their immediate needs. Please note that we are still unable to use routine ultrasonic scaling and polishing during check-ups as this falls into the category of AGP (of which we have limited slots for). Hand scaling will be available from our hygienist upon request.
We would also take this opportunity to remind NHS patients that, should they wish to complete treatment sooner, they may opt for treatment on a private basis. For more information about this please visit the website or call us on 01698 285726 .
We appreciate that this priority may not be favourable for all patients, however, we feel that this is the fairest system that we are practically and safely able to operate within the parameters of the restrictions. We will endeavour to treat as many patients as possible and have extended our opening hours in an effort to accommodate this.
Our new hours are
Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 7pm
Friday 8am - 6pm
Limits on our ability to see patients
A limit of 2 surgeries open at any time to facilitate social distancing and reduce the risk of patients coming into contact with others;
The introduction of “fallow time” following Aerosol Generating Procedures - this is to allow any aerosol to settle, meaning we must close the surgery for a specific time. This massively reduces the number of patients we can see, especially for treatments requiring the use of the drill;
Enhanced cleaning regimes. We have introduced additional measures, which takes more time and thus reduces the number of patients we can see in a day;
Enhanced Personal Protective Equipment. The worldwide demand for PPE has made it more difficult to source and significantly more expensive. As a result, the NHS is supplying enough PPE for us to see 10 patients per day. Effectively, limiting the number of NHS patients we can see every day;
A reduced work-force due to shielding, social distancing and self-isolating rules.
As always we appreciate your continued patience and loyalty towards all members of our team whilst we navigate this new Phase. Given that COVID-19 is prevalent in Lanarkshire it is imperative that we continue to operate within the set restrictions and in a manner that protects both our staff, patients and also continues to limit the spread of the virus. For a full list of our current safety measures and more information on the practice please see our practice website: www.borlandmorton.co.uk