Dear Patients and Friends,
I hope the easing of lockdown is finding you and your family well. Thank-you so much for your loyalty and patience during this last 14 weeks, to quote an oft-used phrase, ‘it has been the strangest of times’, for some an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, step off the treadmill and reassess, for others a time of uninvited and unwelcome solitude.
My version of lockdown was trying to make sense of the ever-changing debate surrounding the provision of dentistry during Covid, consuming and applying endless standard operating procedures, securing PPE, organising urgent and emergency care rotas, redesigning the practice and workflow and attending more zoom meetings and webinars than I ever dreamed possible…When placed on paper, it seems like a daily dose of chasing my tail!
As we begin our journey towards reopening dentistry, I would like to take this opportunity to commend our dentists and all our clinical team for their incredibly hard work during lockdown. They provided emergency and urgent dental care for our own patients, those from Edelweiss Clinic in Strangford and all unregistered patients who needed help, seven days a week throughout this extraordinarily challenging time.
Like almost every other aspect of our lives, the way we provide dentistry has changed; the new PPE, the ‘fallow time’ after we use our drills and a locked door are just a few of unfamiliar aspects of what was previously so familiar. All these changes have at their heart safety, yours, our teams and of course that of our whole community, safety is our first priority and we appreciate your patience as we adapt to the new world in which we work.
Over the next few weeks we will work through our patient lists, those who were mid-treatment when lockdown was announced, anyone who had trouble during lockdown and those many patients who have had routine examinations cancelled, we want to get you back to your regular dental health reviews as soon as possible.
Over the months ahead, we will gradually bring back all of the services that you require. The pace at which this happens will be dictated by guidance and also by the availability of the PPE we are currently required to wear. There has been an unprecedented world-wide demand for PPE, so the supply chain is under pressure and we are not always placed top of the queue.
If you are in pain, or have an urgent dental problem we will always make this a priority, you might not always see your regular dentist, it may another member of our clinical team who is on duty, but we will always ensure that you are seen promptly and your problem is solved.
Returning to dentistry feels like learning a new dance, we know the steps, we have done the training, we’ve bought the costumes and planned the choreography, we’ve rehearsed, rewritten reviewed and are ready to open. Each day we’ll review our performance and make the necessary changes, we’re working as hard as we can to get our timings right and get back up to speed, so please bear with us as our team get together to learn the new ‘dance steps’ of dentistry 2.0.
We appreciate your loyalty over the last few months, without your support, we don’t exist.
Thank you for being our patient
See you soon