Why is there a need to be cautious?
COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus and is spread by direct contact from person to person. When an infected individual touches a surface they leave some of the virus behind, and when a second person touches the same surface the infection is spread to the second individual. What many people don’t realise is that a person can be infected with COVID-19 for up to 2-12 days before they show any symptoms, and this is why the virus can spread so quickly even though members of the public act responsibility once they exhibit symptoms. Though a majority of COVID 19 cases recover without any complication, certain groups of people are at a much higher risk of suffering complications, and are even at risk of dying from the infection. Though we are now able to provide clinic-based appointments we feel we have a responsibility to inform our patients about the risks involved. No therapy clinic is able to bring the infection risk of the clinic room to 0%, despite a rigours sanitising programme. We need all of our patients to consider the advice below and act responsibly to see if a clinic-based appointment or a Video Consultation is the best way to manage their pain complaint.
What Type of Treatments are Available?
Both face-to-face osteopathy treatments and Video Consultations are available. The alert level in the UK has been changing and even when it’s at a lower level there is still a need to be highly vigilant. We continue to offer face-to-face treatment sessions for patients, but encourage people to consider a Video Consultation where a face-to-face appointment isn’t essential for their pain management.
Who is able to attended Clinic-Based sessions?
If you’re suffering any signs of a COVID 19 infection in the last 14 days you will not be able to attend a clinic-based appointment, and will need to make use of Video Consultations until the required 14 day quarantine has been adhered to. This also applies if a member of your household has shown symptoms of COVID 19 in the last 14 days, or if you have been informed by NHS Track and Trace that you need to self isolate. For more information on self-isolation please see the NHS website.
We advise any member of the public who is considered high or moderate risk to make use of a Video Consultation to help reduce the risk of a face-to-face appointment. We’ve had great success in managing a wide range of pain complaints though video sessions, and if needed, patients may choose to switch between face-to-face appointments and video consultations in an effort to limit the number of face-to-face sessions. This advice is also relevant for members of the public that are a low risk but may be in a household where someone is shielding. For information on who is considered high or moderate risk please see the NHS website.
We ask all patients to act responsibly. If you or members of your household are showing signs of a COVID-19 infection please let us know. We understand the restrictions may be an inconvenience, but should you withhold this information and then attend a clinical session, then you’re putting me, and the patients I subsequently treat, at risk.
What can I expect at a Clinic-Based appointment?
The day before your appointment you will receive an email with a link to our online COVID 19 screening form. This must be completed before the day of your appointment to confirm you’re able to attend. If the form hasn’t been returned then your appointment will be changed to a Video Session. You’ll be required to wear a face covering for the duration of the session, and on arrival for a clinic-based appointment patients will need to wash their hands using soap and water for the recommended 20 seconds (for information on the advice around hand washing please see the NHS website). If you have any concerns to wearing a face covering please let us know.
Alexander will also wash his hands when you arrive, as well as wearing a disposable facemask and plastic apron to help reduce the risk of infection spread. All contactable surfaces will have been cleaned and sanitised before your arrival. As a policy Alexander feels the use of disposable gloves offer little help in limiting the spread of infection, and believe regular hand washing is more effective. However, if you would prefer disposable gloves to be worn please say upon your arrival. When you arrive Alexander will confirm the answers to the health questionnaire you completed the day before and will record your temperature to check for any signs of infection.The clinic-based session will then proceed as normal, with hands on techniques being applied where these are needed.
At the end of the session you will be required to sanitise your hands before you leave the clinic. Payments are preferred as a contactless method, via bank transfer or by use of Apple or Google pay. We will not be able to accept any cash payments. This is to limit the need to handle a payment device, and avoid handling cash that has also been handled by others, and again reduce the risk of infection spread.
I would like to thank all of my patients for their understanding in what are unprecedented times. From the start of this outbreak I have worked hard to keep the clinic’s policy up to date and to remain responsible, putting patient’s wellbeing and safety at the forefront of any decisions I’ve made. I understand that some of the limitations that are in place may not be what everyone would like at the moment; but I will continue to review this over the coming months as the situation changes.