Adapt and survive
Shelley Clegg speaks to Deborah Parker, the site manager for two Links Orthodontics clinics in Manchester, about her practices' experience in working through the pandemic.
SC: As a mixed NHS and private orthodontic practice, do you feel that Covid-19 has had an impact on waiting times for treatment?
DP: The restrictions placed on us by governing bodies has meant that we’ve not been able to see as many patients – patient throughput is down by at least a third.
This has created an extended waiting list for NHS orthodontic treatment and then, adding to that pressure, we’ve been in a position where we needed to catch up on our existing cases and complete remedial work, such as broken appliances, which developed throughout the first lockdown. These factors have increased treatment times by up to six months on existing orthodontic cases.
From what we can see, availability of NHS treatment in general is reduced due to the restrictions that the profession now works under. We ourselves have only recently been in a position to start taking on new NHS cases again on a more regular level.