Changes to Protocol
With the emergence of COVID-19, clinical practice has seen some changes for Allied Heath Professionals. At present Osteopaths are able to treat patient's in a face-to-face consultation but patients will still be screened for COVID symptoms prior to their appointment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
There has been a change our dress code as well. We are now required to wear Personal Protective Equipment during any face-to-face consultation. This includes a visor over the face or safety glasses, a moisture resistant surgical mask, protective gloves and plastic apron. This is a requirement and not a personal choice issue and although this may seem daunting it is as much for the reduction of possible transmission of COVID-19 to patients as it is to protect the practitioner. The moisture resistant mask, gloves and apron will be disposed of after each patient and the visor or safety goggles cleaned with appropriate antibacterial and antiviral solution.
Airconditioning and Ventilation
Previously The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that the clinical room is ventilated for 20 minutes between patients as so there was a mandatory break between patients. The regulations concerning ventilating the clinic room between patients has changed and it is no longer a requirement. The regulations concerning cleaning all surfaces between patients, the cleaning of hands and arms, disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and adorning of new PPE have not changed and so we have maintained a mandatory break for the patient's safety to allow adequate time to meet these regulations.
The close contact required for some hands on treatment means that patients will be required to wear a moisture resistant mask and non-latex gloves whilst in the clinic, which will be provided. The soles of the patient's shows will also be sprayed with an anti-viral on arrival and shoes removed and stored by the door.
Social Distancing of 2 meters is still in force throughout England with allowance of 1 meter if wearing a mask. The Government guidance still advocates a 2 meter distance where possible and so we request this is respected to continue to protect our patients whilst in the clinical environment. With this in mind we are asking that at present you wait in your car until 5 mins before your appointment to avoid waiting outside the clinic, as access will be on a patient by patient basis.
Advise from the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC - regulatory body) and Institute of Osteopathy (iO) is that we can continue to provide Face-to-Face consultations in clinic to those who will are not displaying signs of Coronavirus or are in self-isolation. Initial screening for COVID-19 related symptoms is still a requirement and you may be asked to scan in using the 'Track and Trace App'. The initial World Health Organisation regulations stated that it was recommended that rooms were ventilated for 20 minutes between patients and this led to us implementing changes to process of our consultations. The regulations concerning ventilating have changed but those for cleaning have not and so a mandatory break between patients of 15 mins has been implemented. We have considered our options with a view to the safety procedures and the impact on our business with a need to provide the same level of service. We have decided that the clinic consultation timings will remain, at present, at 40 min for New Patient and 30 min for Follow-up Patients. The changes imposed on medical professionals such as osteopaths due to COVID-19, has mean that there has been an increase in costs which we have been unable to fully absorb and so there has been a slight increase in prices. For further information please click here
Treatment Room Changes
To avoid transmission through contact, all plinth linen has been removed. The pillow cases will be waterproof and wipeable plastic. The flooring is a non slip vinyl (fake tile). There will be one widow open during the consultation to aid with fresh air ventilation.
Patient Hand Washing
To minimise risk the patient may be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds upon first entering the clinic room and this may be watched by the practitioner to aid with correct hand washing procedure. If the patient is asked to wear non-latex gloves when met at the door then the patient will not be required to wash their hands but must only take the gloves off when exiting the clinic.
Arrival for Appointments /Waiting
We kindly request that you do no arrive at the clinic door more than 5 minutes before your appointment. If you have driven then we ask that you remain in your car. Please do not wait close to the clinic door to avoid contact with other patients as they leave. We do not have a waiting area and therefore admission will only be at your time of appointment.