We are so proud of our dental team who continue to work so hard in delivering emergency dental care from our Urgent Dental Care Hubs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. From our Call Centre colleagues and dentists providing telephone triage services and reassurance for patients, to those enabling and delivering face-to-face emergency patient care, the teamwork and commitment has been profound.
Late afternoon on 28th May 2020 we received notification from the Chief Dental Officer for England and NHS Director of Primary Care and System Transformation setting out the next steps for delivery of general dental services in England as the NHS moves into the second phase of the COVID-19 response. You may have seen this covered by both national and Cornish media.
There will be some challenges for dental practices to be safely operational from the 8th June, not least in acquiring the required levels of PPE. It’s been tough, as you can read here. There is consequently still much work to do in partnership with our NHS England Local Area Team to agree which Urgent Dental Care Hubs remain operational to ensure Cornish people can continue accessing emergency dental care at this time.
At Smile Together we had already begun our detailed planning for a return to more general dentistry with the safety of our people and our patients remaining our utmost priority. The guidelines are changing on an almost daily basis.
Through our West Country Dental Care and Brighter Dental teams, together with our dental laboratory DPS, Smile Together provides a wide range of NHS, general and private dental services and specialities for patients right across the county. We anticipate some of our services will resume at different times to others but at all times we will be guided by NHS England and Public Health England, as has been the case from the outset of this pandemic.
Our immediate priority will be those patients who have had pain or problems, who have been unable to access dental treatment during this period, and then those patients who were partway through treatment prior to lockdown.
It is likely to be some time before our services return to what patients would have experienced prior to the pandemic. This will naturally be very confusing and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this next phase of our COVID-19 response. Above all our aim is the continued safety of our people and our patients in delivering our valued dental services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Patients requiring emergency treatment at this time can contact us via 0333 405 0290.
Whilst we are of course observing social distancing, please continue to telephone our practices rather than attend in person without an appointment.
For more information please see:
Click here for the Oral Health Foundation poster explaining changes to the patient experience.