It may have escaped your notice, but the red banner at the bottom of the BBC News today carried the announcement that dentists will be permitted to open again from the 8th of June.
Now that's only just over a week away, which doesn't give us much time to make all the arrangements, and so at the moment I'm feeling a mixture of dread and relief. On the one hand it's a lot to organise and to make sure that my staff and patients will be safe and we are fully compliant with regulation, but on the other hand a relief to be able to get back to looking after patients.
Of course, after so many weeks closed, there are quite a few patients with urgent or emergency problems who will will need to prioritise. Once we have helped these patients who are desperate to see us, we can start helping with things that are less urgent, before an eventual return to more routine dentistry.
PLEASE DON'T PHONE THE PRACTICE FOR AN APPOINTMENT AT THE MOMENT!
We are still not booking routine check ups etc. and what we can do will be limited by the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). You've probably heard about PPE shortages in the news, and at first dentists were urged not to stockpile or buy PPE so that it could go to front line medical and nursing staff. Unfortunately that means we don't have all the clever respirators that may be required for some of our work, so please bear with us as we do what we can do safely.
Also you'll need to bear with us if we can't see as many patients as we used to, as we have to maintain distancing within the practice and work to enhanced cross infection protocols. We're likely to do a 'soft start', only seeing a few patients on our first couple of days to ensure that our systems work well to keep everyone safe.
We'll work hard to get as close to normal as soon as possible, so thanks again for your patience. I'll keep you updated here and Niki will keep the Facebook page up to date too.