Good morning from all of us at The Elms,
I thought it would be useful to let our patients know where are currently in terms of our efforts to prepare for reopening.
The major issues we have to overcome before safely opening our doors are in procuring the correct PPE and to update our operating procedures to encompass new guidelines issued to us on 1st June by the Faculty Of general dental Practice.
The PPE issue is that most dental suppliers are inundated with requests for the enhanced PPE, particularly the FFP3 respirator masks which are in very short supply and high demand. These masks only come in limited sizes and need to be fit tested by a qualified fit tester to ensure a perfect seal when wearing the mask. There is also a shortage of fit testers and fit testing kits. In addition to this, during the height of the crisis dental practitioners were invited to donate their existing stocks of PPE to front line services.
So far we have been able to procure some masks but only in one size so there is no guarantee that they will fit all members of the team. Two members of staff are booked on a training course on 11th June in order to qualify as fit testers so that we can test the rest of the team. In the meantime we are trying every avenue to get other sizes in the masks. Unfortunately there are a lot of masks being offered online that are either fake or not compliant so we have to be very careful with this procurement and only buy from a reputable source that we know we can trust.
When the government authorised dental practices to open from 8th June it appears their decision was based understandably on the unmet need of many patients who have been suffering with tooth ache during the lock down, but without fully considering how dental practices could open safely and what guidelines should be put in place. This has placed huge pressure on dental practices.
I would like to assure all of our patients that we will indeed be open as soon as we are able to safely for all concerned.