The final straw!

I mentioned in my last blog post that we’d hopefully have a date for opening pretty soon. We’re hoping for that to be on the 15th July now so fingers crossed all our dominoes fall into place for that to happen. Closer to the time we’ll be contacting patients to book appointments from our priority list. Our phone lines are still active for advice, prescriptions and onward referral for treatment if required so please give us a call if needs be. I’d like to kindly ask our patients not to call to book appointments just yet though as we aren’t opening up our books until we have the date confirmed and we don’t want the lines being busy for anyone calling who needs urgent advice or onward referral. Thanks in advance for your co-operation on that.

We’ll be seeing less patients than usual initially, to help with social distancing within the building as much as possible. Hopefully we can also avoid the same scenes as in Soho yesterday for Super Saturday with the pubs re-opening. (I’m not sure people are as excited to see their dentist as they are their local bartender though – wishful thinking perhaps ☺️)

Someone did try to hit two birds with one stone in that sense yesterday right enough….As part of our new security system we have CCTV in place around the building and we watched as a random chap fancied a bottle of echo falls, alone, in the torrential rain, at 1pm up the back of our building.

To be fair I was glad to see he was at least aware of the enamel erosion risk and used straws – if your going to drink an echo falls up the back of a dentist you may as-well do it right.

So fingers crossed for the 15th July, I’m really looking forward to seeing our patients again and hearing how you have spent your last 3-4 months. Take care as things open up again and of-course please remember- always use a straw for fizzy drinks, if there are any left!

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Fridge-gate 2020

It’s great to hear that today’s the third day in a row with no Covid-19 deaths in Scotland. Hopefully that continues as we go into phase 3. I think we’re all aware of the risk of a second wave and how devastating that would be to see tougher restrictions come back. It is a bit concerning to see a lot of big crowds gathering on beaches and in city centres recently though and I really hope that it doesn’t prove to be the catalyst for another wave.

We’ve been sticking to the rules as they’re set out and even yesterday evening I wasn’t prepared to let the torrential rainfall ruin a couple of beers with pals:

Gazebo up, still getting soaking wet and freezing…..beers with the boys though – worth it!

All over the world we’re starting to see partial lockdowns being re-imposed so fingers crossed our slow, cautious approach pays off and avoids that. I am quite worried for countries like the USA with cases rising significantly amid pushes to re-open earlier. Even more concerning is the situation in Yemen, people there are suffering from the very same deadly virus, a civil war and now hunger; as their foreign aid has been drastically reduced. For me that really puts our own situation into perspective.

I mentioned to Raashi yesterday that in the future when the virus is gone and hopefully we’ve all recovered from it’s effects, we might look back at think ‘how good was that 4 months off at home?!’

I am itching to get back to work now though as I know that it’s getting close and it’s exciting to open our new premises. We had someone come and take a fridge from our staff carpark during the week which was a big help. I was supposed to hire a van and take it to the dump but we seen on our CCTV that two guys fancied it for themselves – saves me the bother so thank you fellas? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Ronan copying my choice of emoji there….”What are you going to do with a broken fridge?”

I’ll keep the CCTV footage private so long as you don’t bring it back πŸ˜‚

Have a good week everyone and by the next blog ill have a date for re-opening.

Take care,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Happy Father’s Day

What other way is there to start Father’s day off than with a lie in! My day got even better when the kids all fancied a nap at the same time so we had our McD’s in the car rather than risk waking them up:

Love them all but you cannot beat the Mc’triple nap 🎰

I’d love to be getting back to work tomorrow like a lot of dentists in Scotland but sadly we’re not in position to open up yet. We got unlucky with the timing of our relocation in that we were supposed to have a structured transition from our old place to the new one in April, but with the pandemic we had to vacate our old property before the new one was ready to go.

There’s a few bits and bobs to tie up but mainly we are waiting on our pre-opening practice inspection which is required for all ‘new’ premises. We sent out our monthly newsletter yesterday to all patients and mentioned that we are hoping to be opened up in mid July. This would tie in quite nicely with our 5 year anniversary from taking over from Dr Chan on the 15th July 2015.

Within the same 18 months we took over the practice, got married, got a dog, moved house and had a baby. Absolutely no half measures there! πŸ˜†

To continue the good measure the last 18 months have seen us invest in a new premises, move our business to it and have another 2 babies while we were at it! During the next 18 months we hope to casually overcome the effects of a pandemic. πŸ€—

The Scottish Government have told us that there will be a change to how NHS dentistry is delivered post COVID so I’m keen to find out how that’s going to look and hope it’s all clear soon. Our practice has always been firmly committed to offering NHS dentistry so I hope the government continue to support access to it.

During the lockdown we have been able to refer patients for emergency care but as you know we haven’t been able to see anyone for routine care. Seeing our patients regularly helps us to pick up problems like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer early enough that it can be treated/prevented. The sooner we are back to work the better for everyones oral health. A lot of our patients have messaged in with issues that unfortunately didn’t qualify to be seen at the emergency hubs so I can promise you we’ll be doing our absolute best to accommodate everyone asap once we re-open.

Enjoy the rest of Father’s day to all the dad’s, have a good week everyone and hope to see you all soon,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Netflix and Drill

Finally got everything out of our old premises this week and said our final goodbye’s to 1347B Springburn Road. The 3D Xray machine was the last thing to go and I’m glad it wasn’t me that had to move it. The thing weighs a tonne so fair play to the engineers involved.

We (the family) popped out to the new place earlier for Raashi to have a look around as she’s not seen it in a while. I used the oppertunity to get Netflix set up on the TV’s:

Netflix and Drill is now an option at TWDC

Once we re-open our patients will be able to make the most of it while getting treatment done. Initially we’ll be on an ‘urgent care only’ footing though so it may be more like ‘Netflix but no drill’. Just like many other businesses/services, getting back to ‘normal’ in dentistry may take a while.

I’ve been following the situation for dentists in England closely as they re-opened up on the 8th June so it’s been interesting to see how they are working now. A lot of our patients will no doubt have read about it in the papers too in relation to the restrictions placed.

The thing is, infection control procedures in dental practices are already second to none in my opinion. We go through so much staff training and for me, our protocols/procedures make a trip to the dentist so much safer than a trip to the supermarket.

So hopefully the dental hubs, as useful as they are at the moment, aren’t needed for much longer. Once a relationship is established, most patients want to see their own dentist too and it’s the exact same the other way around. Having said that our very own Dr Laura Grant will be working in one of the hubs in the coming weeks (she’ll still be with us too so don’t worry!)

Sadly, no specific date for re-opening for us just yet but I do feel we are getting close so watch this space. Really excited to show everyone the new digs. We were planning a big open day with bouncy castles and face painters for the kids but we can reschedule that for next year maybe. Unless of course we do a zoom one somehow, (did anyone ever use Zoom pre covid 19 btw?)

(Me fixing the cameras – ignore the bald spot) …Picture the bouncy castle there and we could do the open day remotely? Just jump around at home πŸ˜†

Have a good week everyone,

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

Wet suit it is..

Back to work for dentists in England tomorrow – I’m hoping it goes well for them although it’s a shame that they only found out recently on BBC news and have since been scrambling for PPE and to finalise their new protocols, I’ve read that only a third of practices are in a position to actually open.

In Scotland our health boards are organising for free PPE to be picked up by all practices in the coming days/weeks, just to get us started. Normally dental practices buy their own PPE independently so to have this organised for free is great, especially now when the prices are extortionate. The health board are returning the favour for dentists donating all our PPE to the hospices and care homes at the start/peak of the pandemic. It’s not lots but in my opinion it’s a great touch and very much appreciated.

I’m hoping it’s also a sign that we’ll be given the go ahead to open fairly soon, although it will be for urgent care only at the start. It’s great that a lot more patients are being seen at the dental hubs for non urgent treatment now too.

As you all no doubt know we were supposed to move into our new premises before now, but we have struggled to get it finished with suppliers being closed and lockdown limiting the number of jobs we could actually get done. We’re almost there now though and if your driving by you may notice the driveway is nearly there:

Great work by ‘Stevie Driveways’ as he is in my phone. (Driveway bureau)

You can also just about make out the golden arches in that photo there too, my favourite restaurant in the world. Was anyone in the queue’s this week? They were stretched so far along Springburn Road it was past the exit to Hawthorn Street! I’m hoping we have a similar queue once we re-open 😷☺️

In other news our new state of the art paddling pool for the garden arrived this week:

Β£38 on ebay – what a bargain

Sadly just in time for the cold weather front we are expecting. Wet suit it is then.

Have a good week everyone and hopefully this time next we’ll have a proposed date for re-opening.

Joe

Joseph Watson BDS MFDS RCPS MSc (Implantology)

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)