Coronavirus : COVID-19
last updated 21/07/2020
How will the new guidelines and clinic changes affect my treatment?
There will be changes. Not many of us like change. This webpage helps explain the changes clients can expect in bookings, consultations, treatment, clinic setup and therapist personal protective equipment (PPE). My new policies and procedures have been developed by referring to my risk assessment combined with extensive consideration of documents/advice from government and professional associations. Some of the new policies/procedures are mandatory, some advisory, but all are in place to keep to keep both you (the client) and myself safe, and greatly reduce transmission risk.
I have temporarily closed my online booking service. All appointment booking will currently be by booking directly with myself- via message, email or telephone. This is due to a temporary change in opening hours
Currently treatment slots available are 30, 45 or 60 minutes only.
You are not required to give the standard 24 hours notice for cancelling an appointment if you have coronavirus or COVID-19 symptoms. You must cancel your appointment if you have any coronavirus symptoms, or have been exposed within the last 14 days. The cancellation fee will be waived in these instances.
Our guidance has shown heavy emphasis of reducing all non-essential contact time, in clinic. We have been advised to do our prolonged ‘new client consultations’ online to cut out this extra potential exposure time (and maximize your treatment time). Please fill out the required questionnaires/forms prior to your appointment online, at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. As all non-essential contact time should be avoided, prolonged consultations/aftercare should be delivered online or by telephone. If you wish to discuss anything verbally prior to your appointment please contact me. There will be a further form to complete, to state you are still currently COVID-19 symptoms free on arrival, I will ask you questions and complete this on my tablet on your behalf, and confirm to you that I am also COVID-19 symptom free.
I have had to put extra time between appointments, and at the end of the clinic, for airing & cleaning
Please attend your appointment alone, unless you need assistance or your child is being treated.
You will be required to wash or sanitise your hands prior to entry of the treatment room. There is a hand sanitiser dispenser on the outer wall of my home which will be sanitised prior to your arrival (as will the doorbell) and on your departure.
I will visually assess your health on arrival and may ask further questions if you appear unwell and/or are coughing regularly. I may ask to take your temperature in this instance, but have decided against testing all client’s temperatures on professional body advice. You may be refused treatment if you appear ill, or have a temperature (I may check your temperature).
I will be wearing a professional safety visor to create a physical barrier between my face and you the client when hands on work begins. These are mandatory for close contact workers by government instruction.
I will also wear a face covering while doing both treatment & consultations, I will also have to perform hand hygiene if I touch my mask/face while in clinic. Please wear a face covering to your appointment, these are mandatory from the 8th of August 2020. I do have some disposable face coverings should you forget yours.
Control measures have been put in place at my home to reduce transmission risk and help keep you safe.
You will be required to put your clothing and belongings in a lidded box for the duration of your treatment. Please do this on entering the treatment room.
I cannot treat the head at present. I must also try to avoid working in the ‘high risk zone’ in front of your face. This may mean more side-lying/seated treatment.
It is essential that you follow my coronavirus policies, or you may be refused treatment. Failure to abide by my coronavirus policies puts my health, my business, and the health of my clients at risk so may result in me refusing to treat you in the future.
Please keep verbal communication brief and ‘to the point’ as the more we talk, the greater the risk of transmission (if one party is coronavirus positive). We are advised to avoid general conversation before/during treatment.
During treatment I may be less talkative than usual, due to the mask and advice to avoid unnecessary communication. This will be hard!
In the treatment room I have deep cleaned with a specialist antimicrobial cleaner. I have also had to remove unnecessary items, which may be touched, such as leaflets/handouts, ornaments, sales products. Items I need access to and may need during treatments will be kept in plastic boxes, to reduce the chance of viral contamination.
I have had to remove my fabric chair and bolsters/pillows, I have replaced them with ‘wipe clean’ alternatives, which can be sanitised between clients, or invested in wipe clean covers to replace fabric ones.
I will now be making and storing clinical notes electronically for convenience and hygiene purposes.
Please pay by card, the machine will be sanitised between clients, or bring the correct money if you cant do this.
You MUST contact me if you fall ill with coronavirus symptoms within 7 days of treatment.
I will have to self isolate for 14 days if a coronavirus positive individual is found to have been in the clinic. I will also have to pay for specialist decontamination of the clinic. I will of course be checking my own temperature before clinics and will cancel them if I have a fever, a new continuous cough or anosmia. I will then ensure I get tested promptly to ascertain if I am coronavirus positive. I will also have to cancel my clinics for 14 days if I am knowingly exposed to coronavirus.
The likelihood of transmission will be greatly reduced with the control measures I have implemented, PPE & hand/mask hygiene; however there is still a small risk which cant be eliminated.
I am not able to treat people currently advised to ‘shield’ on medical advice, I also cant treat individuals in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category without a doctors note and moderate-severe symptoms (no maintenance or relaxation treatment).
Over 70’s and those in the ‘vulnerable’ category would be wise to weigh up benefit (of treatment) against risk (of infection) to make an informed choice as to whether you require ‘hands-on’ treatment.
If a member of your household is vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, consider them in your risk-benefit analysis.
If you have had coronavirus, I cannot treat you until you have been symptom free for 14 days.
If you have had severe coronavirus infection (eg. been hospitalised) I cannot treat you for 3 months without a doctors note due to post COVID-19 complications/clotting issues.
If you have any unusual leg pains/cramping or rashes please let me know, especially if you have had coronavirus.
Track and Trace:
I am legally obliged to contact NHS Test and Trace if I develop coronavirus, if a client develops coronavirus (having been in the clinic within 7 days) or if I have been exposed to coronavirus. I am exposed, It is likely I will have to self-isolate for 14 days, if I have treated the individual, clients with appointments at similar times may also have to isolate.
If a coronavirus positive individual is known to have entered the clinic, it is a legal requirement that I pass on the name/contact details of any clients who might have been exposed to coronavirus, based on NHS Test and Trace criteria. There is a QR code poster up in my clinic room that I invite you to scan using the NHS COVID-19 app.
I encourage clients to download the NHS COVID-19 Track & Trace app to their smartphones, and to cooperate with NHS Test/Track and Trace operatives. This will be beneficial for the health of you and your loved ones, help slow the spread of COVID-19 but will also help protect my business from potential exposure to COVID-19 (and potential, non-economically viable, future closures/14-day isolation periods for myself).
You & your households health: more detail
I have done everything I can to reduce the risk of transmission to as small a level as possible, and ensure I do not attend work if I might/do have coronavirus. However, wherever humans are in close contact a transmission risk still exists (though this will be drastically reduced with infection control measures). For most healthy and younger people the risk of getting infected is lower, also the likelihood of serious illness is considerably lower, so they may be less concerned with a (very low) infection risk. However, people who are older (especially 70+), or have health complications would be wise to take the risk more seriously, and weigh up well-being benefits against a small infection risk. The government has identified 2 groups more likely to get seriously ill with COVID-19; vulnerable and extremely vulnerable:
VULNERABLE: A large number of people fall into the ‘vulnerable’ (moderate risk) category, including: -people 70 or older -People with a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis) -Those with heart disease (such as heart failure) -Diabetics -People with chronic kidney disease or liver disease (such as hepatitis) Those with a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy) -People with a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections -Those taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids) -Very obese (a BMI of 40 or above) individuals -Pregnant ladies
EXTREMELY VULNERABLE*: People at high risk from serious coronavirus illness include those who: -have had an organ transplant -are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy -are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer -are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein -kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors) -have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma) -have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine -have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD) -have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell) -are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine) -have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
*It is especially important for extremely vulnerable people to limit their risk of infection as much as possible. I cannot treat those currently advised to ‘shield’ by medical professionals. I can treat individuals who are no longer required to shield, but only if treatment is essential (eg. they are in moderate-severe pain) and they are willing to accept a small transmission risk to receive treatment (a Telehealth appointment might be a better option?). I will also require a doctor’s letter giving me permission to treat anyone in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ categories.
The other important thing to consider is if a member of your household is extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. In this instance you must decide if you are willing to accept a small infection risk given that it is possible this will be passed on to an extremely vulnerable household/family member. I emphasise the risk of infection will be very low, due to my control measures/PPE, however.
Just a note with regards to a small price increase moving forwards.
This is not related to the Coronavirus pandemic and any changes and investments I have had to make to reopen, in fact I have not increased my prices since 2016. I had intended to increase my prices to the structure detailed on my Prices page from April 1st. The process of informing all repeat clients was in place, but was never set in motion due to officially closing on the 18th of March.
Now I appreciate that is a lot to take in, please contact me if you have any questions. The bottom line is that our health is of the upmost importance which is why these extra precautionary measures and guidelines are in place.