Freedom 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

How nice have the past few days been?! 😎 Nicola Sturgeon picked a cracking weekend to lift the lockdown – it was great to finally be able to see friends & family again (not all at the same time obviously). Like most we’ve spent the last couple of days bbq’ing, sunbathing and paddling pooling. Funny how yesterday evening Asda had plenty of toilet roll left but were down to the absolute bare bones of meat, cider & ice cream πŸ˜†

It was too hot for me to keep the hair going so I finally bit the bullet and let Raashi cut it for me:

The pressure was on as sadly the old “it’s ok it’ll grow back” doesn’t actually apply to all of my hair any longer 😧. She did ok to be fair and as my barber is a Liverpool fan I might have to get her to do another couple of trims just until their league triumph blows over (which might be another 30 years – long before which i’ll have no hair left to cut anyway πŸ˜’).

At work our new waiting room seating got fitted this week too. It’s looking great and plenty of space for our patients to safely socially distance while waiting for appointments:

You may have noticed that in England dentists are going back to work on the 8th June. In my opinion Scotland have a more structured, sensible, phased plan in place although I do think that means we’ll likely be some time in July. There is now the option for patients with more ‘minor’ issues like loose fillings and crowns to be seen at the dental hubs in the mean time though, so please call us first and we can arrange appointments if needs be, same goes for anyone with swelling or severe pain.

Tomorrow looks set to be the same again and the best thing about the nice weather is the kids are absolutely shattered by 7pm and pretty much ask to go to sleep:

‘Can I go to bed now daddy?’ ……..YES

Those skinny legs came in handy for my other daughter Mila’s Vogue cover photoshoot too:

Have a good week everyone and please stay safe and well – really looking forward to seeing our patients again soon.

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

F***ing Gazelles

This week we received some guidance from the chief dental officer for Scotland about the routemap to re-opening dental practices. It ties in with the Scottish Government one that i’m sure you have all seen by now.

I am also sure you are now aware of the urgent dental care hubs that have been set up throughout Scotland and to quote from the chief dental officer:

It was initially necessary to restrict the range of treatments available in urgent dental care centres and we are now able to expand the scope of this service to deal with a wider range of acute and urgent dental problems. Further information can be found here:”

https://www.scottishdental.org/public/dental-services-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-information- for-patients-in-scotland/

So it seems that phase 1 post lockdown is to expand the range of treatments available in the urgent care hubs. This is obviously a step in the right direction for anyone in desperate need of dental treatment at the moment. We’ve had over 650 patients call with issues since lockdown started, we’ve taken detailed notes for every one of those and hopefully now we can arrange for some more of these issues to be seen.

Phase 2 see’s dental practices open up 1 surgery only, for urgent care only; the plan is for this to be in effect by the end of July.

The timeline obviously depends on the control of the virus but moving on to phase 3 sees us offer a broader range of treatments and obviously phase 4 is when we’re back to ‘normal.’

It’s at least good to have an idea now of the path ahead, as I think over the past couple of weeks we were all wondering what the plan was. We are waiting for more details soon so ill keep everyone updated, I am as desperate as you are to get back to work!

In other news with the weather as dull as it is I’m not sure i’ll change out of my pyjamas today – seems the temperatures are due to crank up again next week so may as well enjoy the last of the lounging around inside. We were watching a lot of Peppa pig this morning until I heard this from Richard Rabbit:

F*** Sake Richard it’s 11.30am!

So we moved on to playing a game of dog or human with my family in Belfast (yes I’m running out of games – thank goodness for the easing of lockdown next week) :

Belfast lost this one!

This seemed to work tiring the girls out at least as they’re both napping now so it’s time for a bit of TV for the boys:

Enjoy the rest of your ‘weekend’ folks and have a good week

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Groundhog Day

Groundhog day #56. Not great weather today so seems we’re stuck inside. At least it might give me a chance to finish my book off as I’m nearly there with it. One of my new years resolutions was to read at least 1 book per month and despite getting off to a flyer by doubling my target in Jan and Feb, I’ve been stuck on the same one now since March. You would imagine lockdown would have seen me get the annual target done and dusted but I’ve been mobbed with ‘other activities’. Im currently reading ‘Ghost wars’ which is a book about the history of the CIA, Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden.

It’s really interesting and I often find myself going off in a tangent on google to clarify things that aren’t covered in the book. That further research led me all the way to tik tok this morning where I stumbled on this impression of Donald Trump:

How good is that? πŸ˜‚ ..Probably one of the greatest people have ever seen in the history of things people have ever seen😏

Come to think of it I don’t know what’s had the most significant impact on my reading target: national lockdown and all it’s side effects, the birth of our 3rd child, or downloading tik tok. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. To be fair my ‘other activities’ have also involved playing a lot of hopscotch, hide and seek, drawing and scooter races:

Finding Dory has became a bit more difficult today β˜”οΈ ☹️

I got a message yesterday saying that ‘Irish Dentists’ are going back to work on Monday. Unfortunately Laura and I aren’t getting a free pass just yet as it’s actually dentists in Ireland. It is at least some good news though as hopefully this means that the UK won’t be too far behind. I wish I could give our patients a better idea as to when we will re-open but your guess is as good as mine as we haven’t been given any indication of a possible date of return to work yet. Fingers crossed we find out more this week coming . 🀞🏼

As a reminder please call us for advice and if required, rest assured we can arrange for you to be seen by a dentist at one of the emergency dental hubs that have been set up across the city.

Back to my favourite other activities for the rest of the day for me:

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Adios 1347b

So Mr Johnson and Mrs Sturgeon have now provided us with the update that I think we all expected anyway; Lockdown goes on as is for now. Most days have been groundhog days for me, enjoying the sun when possible, reading, playing with the kids, walking the dog, eating Wotsits and watching TV. Seems like we’ve got a bit more of that to look forward to. (We’ve ran out of box sets now so any suggestions are most welcome.)

I am desperate to get back to work though as it’s tough to hear from so many of our patients with problems that unfortunately we can’t get sorted at the moment. To be fair though, the dental hospital have done a great job at getting the emergency service set up so that those who really do need to be seen have the option to. For all the other minor issues fingers crossed we get the go ahead asap!

Today I went to lift the last few boxes out of our old premises and was a bit sad at how empty the building was:

So I never expected it, but it seems now that we’ve seen our last patient in the old premises, after more than 25 years as a dental practice it will now move on to be something new.

I was really grateful to 3 of our patients today too for keeping a close eye on our new premises for us. Unfortunately someone decided to fly tip at it, but thankfully we very quickly received 3 calls from concerned patients and managed to get the issue resolved almost immediately. Once again a massive thank you for looking out for us.

We’re working really hard to get the rest of the building finished asap now, mainly just decorating to finish off. Fingers crossed that will be in the next few weeks and lockdown permitting we can get our team out for a socially distant grand opening!

It was nice to see some of the team tagged today in a picture from the UK dental awards last year – a throwback to happier times when we were all allowed out:

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

QuaranTea anyone?

This week we enter week #6 of lockdown and come to the governments review date on the 7th May. It’ll be interesting to see at that point what the plan is, as we’ve had a lot of hints about easing the lockdown measures. I think I, along with a lot of others, naively thought at the outset that it might be a case of staying at home for a while then we’d be back to normal work/life. I guess I wasn’t thinking far enough ahead at that point and instead focusing on dealing with the more immediate effects of the stay at home order.

Obviously there have been some slow periods but in general for me, since our practice closed in mid March, I seem to have blinked and it’s May already. I’ve spent a lot of priceless quality time with the family, stripped the living room wallpaper, cleared the garage, exercised (a bit), tried some new recipes and wines, I can also guarantee I’ve eaten more chocolate than anyone and Raashi and I have even managed some online dental webinars.

Fair play to our kettle too as it’s put in some shift for the past 6 weeks, maybe when we’re allowed back to work we can put it on furlough for a while! My tea game is on point though:

QuaranTEA anyone?

Looking ahead we are trying to do what we can to be prepared for returning to work. Dental practices and teams are used to and very well trained in the strictest infection control procedures so I am very confident we will be able to adapt to whatever measures the chief dental officer see’s fit to issue. We’re lucky to have a much bigger premises to be moving into soon so we can respect a 2m social distance between waiting patients. We’ve installed hand sanitisers in the waiting area for use on entry and leaving and we are looking into the reliability of infra-red thermometers for screening patients and staff on entry.

In short we will be taking every possible measure to keep our patients and staff safe.

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

VIDEO TOUR OF TWDC

As you will be aware by now we are moving our premises and the official opening at the new location was supposed to happen in mid April. Obviously with the pandemic that’s all been put on hold just now. In terms of the building works we’re still 1 staircase short but other than that most of the big jobs are done so it’s mainly decorating and tidying bits up that’s left to do.

The dental chairs and x-ray equipment etc are medical devices so they’re the very last items to be installed so there’s absolutely no dust around. Pre lockdown the builders were sometimes a 10 man team and since then they’re down to a 1 man at a time team. So it’s all still progressing but just a bit slower, as for the stairs and chairs – we’re just waiting on engineers coming off furlough to finish those off.

Im very grateful to our staff who have volunteered to do admin from home, shopping for local food banks AND to go into our old premises 1 by 1 to pack things up. I’ve been going over later at night and transferring all the packed boxes over to the new premises. It’s been great teamwork from a very socially distanced team.

We’re hoping to be in a position whereby when dental practices are given the go ahead to open up again we are ready to go, although even if there is a short delay we have teamed up with 5 local dental practices so our patients can still be seen in case of emergencies.

I made the following video tour for our staff in midweek (after accidentally setting the alarm off and alerting the police!πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) but actually thought it would be good to give our patients a sneak peek too:

Getting there!

Hopefully soon we will hear more about what life is going to be like in the near future as we tackle coronavirus and all it’s effects, in the mean time I hope you all stay safe and well – enjoy the lockdown challenges, activities and zoom quizzes!

I actually had a zoom call last night with some friends who complained they ‘never get a mention’ in my blog. So here you go Ewan, Stuart, Charlie & we’ve lost an Andy to poor signal here. Imagine that happened in the pub by the way, if your patter’s poor (that’s craic for the Irish readers!) you just disappear for a while πŸ˜†.

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Pain free home dentistry

Spent a lot of today dozing in and out of sleep in the garden. What a day! Really tried my best to get up and do some exercise but the furthest I got was to get my training gear on then I went back to sit in the exact same spot. I did manage to get the 5k challenge done yesterday though after being nominated by our nurse Danielle so i’m using that to justify doing nothing today. I’m wondering how tight my uniform is going to be by the time we get back to work though. Am I alone on that front? When lockdown started I said to myself I’m going to be so productive > get a few books read, take my old guitar back out and teach myself how to play again, exercise every day, learn new recipes, get all the DIY done.

Sadly a lot of it has been spent watching TV and eating chocolate. That 5k challenge was a godsend to be honest. Thank you Danielle!

I spent yesterday on call (our dentists are taking turns to man (& woman) the phone lines) so it’s nice to get chatting with some of our patients again, particularly those of you who are living alone. I enjoyed hearing how some of you are coping with the lockdown and although we obviously can’t do any treatment the advice seems to be well appreciated and helpful. I should point out that we can still make arrangements for the patients who do really need to be seen at one of the central hubs so please don’t think you have to put up with toothache at the moment, give us a call!

My 3 year old got a gift from her aunty and uncle of a ‘dentist kit’ this week so I’ve been trying to train her up too:

Training has been going well to be fair:

Give it about another 20 years and she’ll be good to go!

Hope everyone’s keeping safe and well, at least we’re set for some more sunshine as we enter week 4 of lockdown. Stock up on the vitamin D while its going and we’re not at work!

Take care and have a good week,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)