Despite little help from the government, hygienists and therapists are still doing their bit to help out during the coronavirus outbreak, Anna Middleton says.
Like every other self-employed individual in the country, I waited with bated breath to hear what Chancellor Rishi Sunak had to deliver last Friday. I hope for many the news was good. But for others, including myself, this was not the case.
I have worked since I was 13, sometimes two/three jobs at a time. To not have a job or income source is daunting. What will we all do if we really can’t go back to surgery for months? Like many this is a bleak thought and feeling.
What help is out there?
I am proud to be a member and ambassador of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy. I wish to thank them for the letter they sent out to all their members on the 19 March 2020.
The letter not only extended the society’s sympathy, but also gave fantastic advice to those worried financially. The advice covered mortgages, rent, council tax, loans, credit cards, tax returns, benevolent fund, general money advice and overall well-being.
If any hygienist and therapists don’t know where to turn, I urge you to contact the BSDHT during this time.
I have started trying to secure any potential work from home while applying for other jobs.
I applied as an NHS volunteer, for which I have been accepted as a responder. By using an app I can log in and mark myself as ‘on duty’ and help those in need while I am at home.
I have seen many other dental professionals deploy to the front line, putting themselves in direct risk of COVID-19 to help the public. And I have friends who will be working at the new Nightingale Hospital when it opens. Fellow hygienist and dear friend Claire Berry has even started a petition to try and use dental practices and dental teams as testing centres.
As dental professionals we have the skills to carry out COVID-19 testing, with the ability to keep our patients safe and prevent the spread of the virus. We wear PPE and practice high levels of infection control all on a daily basis. We can ensure a streamlined system to help the government during this unpredictable time.