Covid-19 F2F Policy
Covid -19 policy and procedures in relation to face-to-face appointments
There is an inherent risk of transmission of Covid-19 in conducting face-to-face physiotherapy as it is impossible to maintain 2m social distancing between therapist and patient and it remains possible to carry the virus without any obvious symptoms and thus infect others. However, following thorough risk assessments, we are confident we can deliver Covid-secure face-to-face consultations with the appropriate PPE and the following infection prevention measures in place:
- Virtual-first approach
We will not be seeing any patients face-to-face unless we have first conducted a Virtual Physiotherapy Assessment or telephone triage in order to ascertain the ‘need’ for a face-to-face appointment i.e. we need to be able to prove that the condition a patient requires treatment for cannot be effectively self-managed at home. The condition must be having a significant impact on the patient’s health and wellbeing that justifies the risk of transmission of the virus inherent in patients travelling to our clinics and being within two metres of a therapist for a significant period of time. If patients are experiencing symptoms that are affecting sleep, ability to work, ability to self-care or care for other members of the household or affecting their mental health and well-being then a face-to-face appointment is warranted. Conditions that are not responding to self-management or conditions that if left untreated may result in patients requiring GP or hospital care then a face-to-face session can also be justified.
Please note over 70’s and others deemed as being in vulnerable or extremely vulnerable groups can still attend clinic providing the above criteria are met; alternatively, we can also conduct home visits with the appropriate PPE in place.
- Covid-symptom screening and consent for treatment
We will require patients attending face-to-face consultations to have completed and signed a form confirming that they are Covid-19 symptom-free, are not self-isolating and have not been in contact with anyone with Covid symptoms either within or without their household. Appointments will not be able to proceed unless we have received this form. The form will be available to either complete online, or download, print off sign and return. This will be attached to our appointment confirmation email.
- Travelling to clinics
Where possible patients should be encouraged to drive, walk, cycle or use a taxi to travel to the clinics and try and avoid using public transport. If public transport is the only option, then patients should use a face mask for the duration of their journey.
- Social distancing
We are allowing 5 minutes between each appointment to reduce the likelihood of patients coming into contact with each other. Patients who arrive early for their appointments may wait in our waiting areas at the clinics as the clinic entrances are over 2m away from the seating areas.
Patients are also encouraged to attend clinic alone unless they are a minor or require the assistance of a carer.
- Hygiene measures
On entering the clinic patients will be expected to be using their own face covering or mask or will be provided with one if they do not have one. They will be asked to sanitise their hands using the gel provided and avoid touching anything inside the clinic apart from the arms of chairs if required to transfer from sitting to standing.
Prior to session commencing each appointment all surfaces and equipment that patients come into contact with will be wiped down with disinfectant.
During treatment sessions patient and therapist will remain over 2m apart wherever possible i.e. excepting the essential hands-on aspects of assessment and treatment. Patients may remove masks when lying face down on the treatment table.
Therapists will be using appropriate PPE for the duration of each session.
If a condition requires the use of tape a fresh roll of tape must be used each time and the patient will be supplied with the remainder for use at home at the cost of £8 per roll.
If a condition requires the use of theraband the patient will be supplied with a resistance loop band at the cost of £5 per band.
We will not be accepting cash payment in the clinics for the foreseeable future, where possible patients should pay by bank transfer or contactless payment. If the chip and pin device is used it will be wiped down after use.
On session ending patients will be escorted to the clinic entrance by the treating therapist in order to avoid the need for patients to touch door handles etc.
Used PPE will be securely disposed, and our therapists will be observing strict handwashing / sanitising procedures between patients.
Therapists will bring a change of clothes with them to the clinic and place their work clothes in a pillowcase or plastic bag to be laundered at home.