Practice changes for patient safety.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this clinic will operate to maintain the highest standards possible in infection control. This is in order to protect you, every patient and the community at large from COVID-19. At each stage, the clinic will be guided by research and will adapt as appropriate.
This page describes the measures that will be taken within the clinic and the conditions under which patients will be seen for treatment as a consequence of COVID-19.
Please read all of this page so that you understand how the clinic will operate and so that you know how to contribute to its safe running.
At every stage of the patient experience, full patient cooperation is expected and required.
This page covers the following subjects:
1/. The priorities of this clinic.
2/. How these priorities will be achieved:
- Pre-appointment screening
- Contactless payments
- Sterilisation and aeration
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – patient and practitioner
- How appointments will now be conducted
- Video consultations
- Vulnerable patients – definition and provisions
- The current COVID – 19 risk
- COVID-19 symptoms – what to do if you develop a symptom/s
- Patient safety and hygiene in and out of the clinic
1/. The priorities of this clinic:
- To set and maintain the highest standards possible in infection control within the clinic setting.
- To provide an environment within which all patients feel safe and reassured with regards infection control at each stage of the patient experience.
- I adhere to and am guided by infection control standards set out by:
Public Health England (PHE)
The World Health Organisation (WHO)
The General Osteopathic Council
The Institute of Osteopathy
2/. How these priorities will be achieved:
All patients will be thoroughly screened 1/. before being accepted for an appointment 2/. shortly before their appointment and 3/. before entering the building.
Every patient will have their temperature taken before entering the clinic and hands will be washed upon entering the building, following WHO guidelines.
There will be no cross-over of patients within the building (see ‘How appointments will be conducted’, below).
Debit card or contactless payments are preferred.
Sterilisation and aeration
There will be a gap between each patient to allow time to:
- Sterilise ALL contact areas throughout the clinic before and after each patient
- Aerate the clinic
- For PPE doffing, disposal and donning; hand and arm sanitising.
No clinic is able to guarantee a 100% risk free zone, however, every effort is being made within this clinic to mitigate infection risks.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Following PHE and WHO guidelines, your practitioner will be wearing a face mask, eye protection, gloves and apron.
Please wear your own face protection throughout your appointment. The clinic does not have adequate supplies to provide patients with PPE.
How appointments will be conducted
All patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors by telephone when booking their appointment. Vulnerability will be assessed in partnership with each patient. We can opt for video consultations for those ‘unsure’ of symptoms, contact with symptomatic others and vulnerability.
When face to face appointments are deemed appropriate:
Please arrive at the time of your appointment. If you are early, please be prepared to wait outside. The external door will be locked to prevent patients from turning up early, crossing other patients and to stop people from wandering in.
Please knock and you will be met at the external door.
Please attend your appointment alone. The clinic is strictly open only to patients being treated. The waiting room is not available.
Please come with minimal bags and personal items, to reduce the probability of surface to surface contamination.
Please leave your appointment on time. More time is required to sanitise between appointments and to ensure that patients do not overlap.
If you develop COVID -19 symptoms before attending your appointment, you must inform the clinic.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms within 2-3 days following your appointment you must inform the clinic.
These are essential for any patient with suspected COVID-19 symptoms or those unsure as to whether or not they have been in contact with potentially infected others in the 14 days prior to their appointment.
These appointments are recommended for any patient deemed ‘vulnerable’ (addressed, below).
There are certain aspects of a face to face consultation that are not accessible without direct contact, however video consultations work very well in the management of pain and discomfort, using exercise prescription, exercise progression and self-care advice.
Vulnerable patients – definition and provisions
If you fall in to the vulnerable persons category, or live with or care for somebody who does, we can decide how best to proceed given the options, above. Please refer to government advice for the definition of ‘clinically vulnerable’ and ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ in relation to COVID-19.
The current COVID-19 risk
Please be aware that the COVID-19 virus remains in circulation and therefore its spread remains as relevant as ever.
It is the responsibility of everyone to help slow the spread and prevalence of new cases. Please continue to follow government advice and consider others, as well as yourself.
COVID-19 symptoms; what to do if you develop a symptom/s (NHS guidance)
Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has one or more of the following:
- High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature. If measured, ‘high’ = 37.8°C or more)
- New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
- Shortness of breath
If you have any of these symptoms, you must contact NHS 111, preferably using their online service.
Patient Hygiene and Safety in and out of clinic
- As per government guidance, you must continue to observe social distancing and social gathering rules.
- Please continue to wash your hands, wrists (and forearms, if exposed) thoroughly, by working up a lather with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or for the duration of two rounds of ‘Happy Birthday’. Do this with every change of environment and do it regularly, throughout the day.
- If you sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue and take it with you until you can dispose of it safely. Then sanitise or wash your hands (as above). Alternatively, sneeze into the crease of your elbow to help prevent droplet infection.
- Avoid touching your mucous membranes – eyes, nose and mouth.