For details on Coranavirus/Covid 19, please read the news section for latest updates on the practice.
All of you should have received your fee update by now with details of the 3% fee increase, delayed from January 1st 2021, along with covering letter giving you some details why. Hopefully all of you should have been seen by now, and some are already on their next six monthly checkups and scaling. We have tried, in some cases many times, to contact everyone to get you in. If you still haven`t been contacted, please contact us to make an appointment, because we have tried contacting you.To elaborate a little further, the practice has been hit by a lot more expenses and cost increases than we normally would have been.Some are due to Brexit and a poor currency exchange rate which is improving, but prices always fall more slowly than they rise! I also spent in excess of £20,000 getting the practice ready again after the first lockdown ended, and we were allowed to go back to work.These have already been mentioned in previous news items but included getting PPE and items of equipment to allow reopening, stripping and refurbishing the surgeries, getting air evacuation systems installed and buying and fitting the Radic 8 viruskillers.The other major cost is ongoing purchase of PPE. We always used some, gloves and masks, but the costs of these sky rocketed. Gloves became much harder to obtain, but luckily I had good stocks to cover me. Simple surgical masks went from £4-6 a box of 50, to £50 at the peak due to demand and scarcity. They are currently around £13-£17 and slowly falling, and are now worn by my receptionists as well. Clinical staff now wear FFP3 or FFP2 masks. The ones I wear in surgery all the time can be worn for a single day, but cost me £112 a box of 20, now plus vat, a cost we didn`t have pre pandemic. We wear re usable water resistant gowns and scrubs, all of which require high temperature washing and drying daily. There are many additional costs as well for much increased cleaning, another member of staff full time to allow for additional duties, and a slower turnround time for increased cleaning. Unlike many practices, I refuse to charge an additional fee for the PPE used, as I think this is very unfair to you my patients, and it should be included in my current fees. As I said in the letter you all received with the Denplan fee increase, I am very grateful to all my Denplan patients for supporting the practice through lockdown. I have been available to speak with patients in need of advice or with problems since March 2020, 7 days a week. I hope you can understand why a small fee increase was necessary in the circumstances, and it has been kept as low as possible.