Ballymoney dentist in pandemic report

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Ballymoney dentist, Kim Laverty, has been featured in a new report that details the professional and personal impact on healthcare professionals of the pandemic.

The report by MDDUS, a non-profit organisation providing professional support and legal advice to more than 50,000 doctors and dentists, reviews a “year like no other” through the eyes of its members.

It found that they had turned to MDDUS in record numbers for crisis support and advice during the pandemic and recorded how, compared with 2019.

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Mrs Laverty, a dentist who practises in Ballymoney, said: “The most stressful part of the pandemic was the run up to lockdown.

Ballymoney dentist Kim LavertyBallymoney dentist Kim Laverty
Ballymoney dentist Kim Laverty

“We were shrouded with uncertainty with how the profession would be impacted and how we would respond.

“There were definitely a few sleepless nights. In a profession, when all annual leave is dependent on clinical cover for our patients, it felt very surreal to close the doors of the dental practice and put down our drills.

“Having qualified in 2006, the mandatory pause in life was definitely a time to reflect professionally. A time to set new goals. A time to research courses and get stuck into some CPD.

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“I did a couple of great courses which I really enjoyed and it reignited an urge to learn. I have loved getting back into work and to the interactions with the team and the patients.

“I love the satisfaction of a productive clinical day and the structure work brings into our lives.”

During the 10,000-plus calls handled by the organisation’s in-house medical team, the complexity of concerns raised by doctors tackling Covid-19 saw the time taken to deliver advice increase by nearly a third in 2020 to 1,742 hours.

Dr John Holden, the chief medical officer at MDDUS, said: “The entire team at MDDUS has witnessed the toll the pandemic has taken on our clinical colleagues.

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“They became aware very early on in the pandemic that doctors were experiencing significant stresses and unparalleled exposure to trauma on the front line.

“Calls to our advice lines early in the pandemic underlined that the fear of the unknown was immense.

“We also gained insight into the concerns our members had about the systemic impact of Covid-19 in their own practice.

“Some of the members we supported were worried that patient complaints, which arose from systems beyond their control, would disillusion their own staff, many of whom were already exhausted.

“Concern about wellbeing is a theme that will not diminish unless our members are given the time, training and support to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

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