Letter to our patients

Hello, I hope you are keeping well in this difficult time.

This is an update on the situation in dentistry and my practice in particular.

In March, the Chief Dental officer closed all NHS practices. The Government has said it did not close Private Practices.

However, our insurers for personal and public liability insurance (essential for us to keep open) take their cue from the Government advisor (Chief Dental Officer) and would not insure us seeing patients face to face. Because dentistry involves face to face contact, this meant that effectively, we could not perform dentistry.

The Government also decreed that we could only provide AAA (advice, analgesics (pain killers) and antibiotics). Any treatment had to be referred to the NHS hubs. The Government was extremely slow to set up these hubs. Furthermore, to refer patients, we needed to have an NHS email which, because of the convoluted, intricate, unnecessary red tape took weeks to achieve.

These hubs are only treating about 8 patients a day. Many are offering extraction only treatment, despite the fact that modern dentistry can save these teeth. As you have probably read, patients have been left with a Dickensian state of care and are suffering extreme pain, swelling and misery. As caring health professionals, with high standards, we are appalled and upset. I should mention, that we have had a multitude of calls from patients of other practices, but very few from our own patients. This vindicates our approach of prevention and early intervention. We even had calls referred by the NHS, which, unfortunately we were unable to assist.

Our dentists, hygienists, nurses and administrative staff joined and helped to build a new organisation to speak for Private Dentistry, the British Association for Private Dentistry (BAPD) which now has more than 10,000 members. There is a highly qualified Scientific Committee who have examined the evidence available and find no real reasons why we should be in this situation. Legal action has, in Scotland confirmed that the Chief Dental Officer, the Care Quality Commission and the General Dental Council have no control over Private Practices opening provided they obey the protocols. The only problem is that there are protocols published for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but none for England. Further legal action is proceeding in England.

Notwithstanding this chaotic situation, we have been busier than ever.

We have:

a) Created a ground-breaking system of online video consultation which can be accessed through the website,
allowing a face to face discussion with any clinician. You can book a slot. You can also upload photographs to
assist us in helping you.

Please note that this is not an online booking for dental appointments, only consultations. Neither is it for
queries regarding appointments which are best dealt with by ringing the practice telephone on 01905 778873.

b) We are installing Radic8 air purification systems in all surgical areas. This company has long experience with
hospitals. This system turns over the air quickly, filtering and using ultraviolet light, kills bacteria and viruses
including Covid19.

c) We have helped in the creation of a buying group (130 dental practices) to source enhanced PPE (personal
protective equipment), ensuring continuity of supply and have stock ready. Lucy has qualified in FFP3 mask fit
testing (essential to start clinical dentistry).

d) We have reviewed all aspects of our practice, creating SOP’s (standard operating procedures) necessary to
recommence dentistry.

The team look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible

Kind regards,

Roy Morris BDS, Dip Imp Dent RCS Ed, FICD.
And all the team.

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