Important information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update 02/11/2020 

(Click here for Emergency Self Help Guidance)

(Frequently Asked Questions FAQs)

Dear Patients of Firs Dental & Firs Premier

Due to the new lockdown measures proposed and the rapid rise in cases of the pandemic, we are suspending all routine examination appointments for all NHS patients until further notice in line with guidelines published by Public Health England.  During the lockdown period, only urgent and essential appointments will be available.  Please keep on checking the website for further updates. We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times and hope you all stay safe.

We are open with a closed door policy. Please do not attend without an appointment.

Firs Dental and Firs Premier Ltd are open and continue to provide essential and emergency care as required to our patients. Self help guides are available on our website, but if you require treatment, please call us on 0116 2674254, where we provide a telephone triage service.  We have an on-call dentist available Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm. The dentist will return your call as quickly as possible. They may request photos that can be emailed to us and we are using video chat software where necessary.  Rest assured we now have the correct PPE available to treat patients if required. However, if you are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms and in need of URGENT care, then you can still be referred to be seen at an NHS Urgent Dental Care Centre, open 7 days a week. This service is provided according to strict clinical criteria, and when you call the practice you will be assessed by a member of our clinical team to make sure that your problem comes under either:

• Trauma - this is usually caused by a blow to the face, a lost filling is not classed as trauma

• Severe Swelling of the face that is significant and worsening

• Bleeding - uncontrolled, such as after an extraction

• Severe Pain that can’t be controlled by pain relief medicines or antibiotics

When contacting the practice, it is important that patients are clear about whether or not they are symptomatic, self-isolating or in a vulnerable or shielded group to ensure you are seen in the correct location.

FIRS DENTAL NHS PATIENTS -

NHS guidelines in this Covid-19 environment dictate that we are currently only allowed to see patients that need urgent and essential treatment. This means that our NHS dentists have to limit the provision of routine dental appointments at the moment. Due to restricted capacity caused by current safe working methods, like leaving a surgery empty for 60 minutes following treatment, and extra cleaning and sterilising, we are unable to operate at previous levels. We are doing all we can to see as many patients as possible, but please be patient.  

Any patients that require treatment at this time will be contacted for a pre-assessment by phone, email or video consultation prior to any appointment. On agreement of a required appointment, you will receive a pack with all the relevant information via email or you may pick it up at the practice. This will contain a full explanation of what will happen when you attend your appointment.

 

FIRS PREMIER PLAN PRIVATE PATIENTS

Please read the following and let us know your wishes for any appointments that you were due under Firs Premier Dental Plan and have missed as a result of our temporary closure.

If you were due for an examination then we have the following options:

  1. Please ring us on 01162674254 or email us on enquiry@firsdental.com and ask for your “catch up” appointment – this will be with your regular dentist where possible and will include a hand scale and polish if required. The normal ultrasonic scale & polish is now classified as an ” Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) ” which we have been advised to avoid if at all possible during the current Covid-19 risk level.
  2. If you are content to not have the appointment, or do not wish to have a hand scale and polish at this time and wish to wait until you are next due, again please email us on enquiry@firsdental.com and let us know.

If we don’t hear from you, we will assume that you are content with Option 2 above.

 

As the alert level drops, we will change and adapt to the guidelines released. This will hopefully enable us to provide more services as the pandemic eases.

Our reception now has new opening hours: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm and can be contacted via telephone on 0116 2674254 or by email on enquiry@firsdental.com.

Remember, if you urgently need assistance, please call us on 0116 267 4254 ,refer to our Emergency Self Help Guidance or have a look at our FAQs.

 

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff:

· Our Staff may have to wear different PPE to what you are used to seeing but this will be for your and our safety. Not all procedure will need these new items but you may see them whilst you are here. Please don’t worry, we will keep you as safe as possible during your visit.

· Prior to coming to see us you will have spoken to a dentist and been sent your treatment plan. If you agree to the treatment recommended you can now call and make your appointment, arranging this will act as your consent so please read the plan and take note of the cost of the treatment. Visit - https://www.firsdental.com/firs-dental/existing-patients/medical-history to download and complete your medical history. This must be completed to enable us to see you. Please complete on the day of your appointment.

· If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact the practice by phone as soon as possible

· You must attend for your appointment on your own, unless you are under 18 or require a carer, in these cases 1 carer may accompany you.

· Please be aware that our bathrooms will be closed and would therefore recommend you use your facilities prior to leaving home.

· We no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect

· Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time to enable us to complete further checks. If you arrive late for your appointment, we may not be able to see you as we have working time limits to keep all of our staff and patients safe.

· When you arrive at the surgery please call the reception to inform them of your arrival and wait in your car until you are contacted.

· Leave all your belongings in your car.

· If you are arriving via foot, then you may be asked to wait outside until your appointment time, if we can accommodate you in the waiting area we will do so but this may not be possible due to our strict social distancing policy.

· When your Dentist is ready your nurse will call you to the door.

· Your temperature will be taken and a health questionnaire completed. If your temperature is over 37.8 degrees, we will not be able to see you.

· You will enter the building and be asked to use hand sanitiser, administered by your nurse.

· You will then be taken straight to the surgery.

· We are limited to what procedures we can carry out but will treat you to the best of our ability to relieve you from your problems.

· Once your treatment is complete you will be taken to reception.

· You will be asked to use hand sanitiser again, administered by the receptionist.

· Payment where possible will be taken via Apple Pay (no limit) / Contactless (£45) or card payment. Please avoid paying by Cash as this introduces possible contamination issues.

· Once your appointment is completed, the nurse will accompany you to the exit.

 

We continue to follow stringent infection prevention protocols in line with guidance from NHS England & Public Health England (PHE)

The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff.

The latest information on the symptoms of the coronavirus infection and how to avoid catching and spreading the vrius can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus- covid-19/

Please practice social distancing and follow Government advice on staying at home.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have :

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 10 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Read our advice about staying at home.

Urgent advice:Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

(or type https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ into your browser)

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

NHS England and NHS Improvement

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to help control the virus:

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household