COVID 19 Patient and Visitor Guidance January 2021
January 12, 2021
Covid-19 is highly contagious and in the community it can be transmitted in two ways;
- Contact with contaminated surfaces.
- Respiratory droplets travelling within a 1 metre radius from an infected person and making contact with a mucosal surface of another individual.
Therefore, only people who are not classified as high risk of complications from covid, and patients whose symptoms cannot be treated remotely will be invited for face-to-face appointments. Due to the nature of these appointments, there will be an element of contact, and physical distancing will not be able to be followed at all times.
As such, we have implemented measures throughout the clinic to minimise risk of transmission or exposure to the virus by following the advice by the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), Public Health England, HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and the UK Government. The below guidelines outline what you can expect and what is expected of you before and during your attendance at the clinic.
These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff here at Physiotherapy Matters Ltd.
Anyone attending the clinic must ensure they are fit to attend the scheduled Physiotherapy appointment. A member of the admin or clinical team will call all visitors a day before their clinic visit to complete a screening questionnaire with all visiting parties (including chaperones). This screening questionnaire must be signed (to confirm that there has been no changes) by all visiting parties on arrival to the clinic. PRIOR TO VISITING THE CLINIC, YOU MUST INFORM THE TEAM IF YOU, YOUR CHAPERONE OR A MEMBER OF EITHER HOUSEHOLD HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- a high temperature– this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a 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)
- Change in sense of taste (Dysgeusia)
- Change in sense of smell (Anosmia)
If you have any of these symptoms please call the clinic immediately. For more guidance on what to do if you have symptoms, see the NHS website.
If any of the above are applicable to you please do not attend any face-to-face appointments and self-isolate according to government guidelines.
If you have been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who you suspect of having Covid-19, please contact us as soon as possible to re-arrange your visit to the clinic.
For subsequent visits within 4 weeks of the previous visit, the pre-appointment screening will be simplified to avoid repetition but continue to screen for symptoms.
Clinically extremely vulnerable?
If you were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and asked to shield by your GP or the government, please make us aware prior to your appointment so we are able to ensure the most appropriate treatment options for you. If you are currently shielding or isolating following instruction by your GP or consultant, please let us know as soon as possible and do not attend the clinic.
Returned from abroad in the past two weeks?
If you have returned from a country that requires quarantine in the past two weeks you should notify us immediately and not attend the clinic. For more information regarding quarantining following travel, see the government guidance.
What to expect when attending the clinic and what is expected from visitors
Physical distancing of 2m is considered standard practice in all health and care settings in accordance with government guidance. Therefore, Physiotherapy Matters will implement these measures in both the public areas of the clinic as well as the treatment rooms as much as reasonably practical.
- Markings will be presented on the clinic floor, patient seating has been adapted, and the table and chairs in treatment rooms now observe a 2m distance where possible. Please observe these distancing measures during your visit to the clinic.
- Reception staff will be protected by Perspex barriers allowing them to interact with patients whilst minimising risk of transmission. There will be 1 receptionist present at any one time when possible.
- In order to maintain social distancing, fewer appointments will be carried out at any one time (limited to 3) or may be staggered with the option to wait outside the clinical building.
- Do not attend the clinic without a pre-booked appointment and without having completed a telephone screening questionnaire with a member of the team.
- You will not be admitted into the clinic more than 10minutes prior to your appointment time, but please attend on time as your appointment will not run over as the time between patients is specifically designated for cleaning and to provide time between you leaving and the next patient arriving.
- The external doors to the clinic will be closed to avoid people coming in and out of the building freely, so all visitors to the clinic will need to use the intercom system for entry to the building.
- We ask in the first instance that you please attend appointments alone, however, where this is not possible due to travel to and from the clinic, then please ask whoever is attending with you to wait in the car or outside the clinic.
- If you require a personal chaperone, they must also follow hygiene and social distancing procedures and must also comply with the health screening and consent to contact tracing in order to attend. We are, however, able to provide a chaperone service of a Physiotherapy Matters team member who has been screened. Therefore, where possible, we request that you attend your appointment alone.
- If you would benefit from a friend or family member acting as an interpreter, we would ask that this be done remotely via video link. Please discuss your needs with a member of staff prior to attending the clinic.
- As a patient you must use the provided sanitation gels to disinfect your hands on entrance to the practice and on departure.
- Patient appointments will be increased by 10 minutes to allow for sanitisation of seating, beds, tables and public areas such as, toilets, and reception area.
- Contactless card payment machines will be the only method of accepted payment and will be sanitised with alcohol wipes after each use.
- All unnecessary equipment has been removed from the clinic to minimise risk of transmission from contact with contaminated surfaces. For example, reading material and the water machine have been removed from the waiting room.
- Please be mindful of unnecessary contact of surfaces during your visit to the clinic.
- Pens and clipboards will be disinfected between use.
- Tissues, foot operated bins and hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser will be provided in all clinic rooms and within the waiting room. In the event of a cough or sneeze please follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance by disposing of your tissue in the bin provided and sanitising/washing your hands immediately.
- Use of reusable equipment (such as gym equipment) within your appointment will be avoided as far as reasonably practical in order to minimise surface contact. If it is not possible to avoid it, the use of this equipment will be kept to a minimum and the equipment will be cleaned thoroughly prior to and after use.
- Physiotherapists will be wearing face masks and possibly face visor shields. Due to the close proximity of hands-on treatment, this can minimise the risk of infection to them or yourself.
- Physiotherapists will also be wearing plastic disposable aprons and gloves which they will dispose of after each patient.
- The Physiotherapists will adhere to a rigorous and stringent handwashing routine between and during each appointment and, therefore, may not be wearing gloves for your treatment.
- All visitors are required to wear a mask when visiting the clinic. Patients are required to keep their mask on during treatment (with the exception of those being treated for jaw pain). If you do not have your own, a disposable mask will be available for you to purchase for £1 at the reception desk, which will be added to your appointment charge. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, please let us know in advance of your visit so we can arrange for additional PPE to be worn by the physiotherapist during your visit.
On attendance to the clinic, all visitors will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature above 37.7°C will not be permitted into the clinic.
- Covid-19 is a serious communicable disease which MUST be reported to Public Health authorities for disease management purposes.
- The test and trace system is in place to trace ‘contacts’ of a confirmed case and ask them to self-isolate for 14 days.
- A person will be deemed to be a ‘contact’ if they ‘have had close contact, been coughed on or spent more than 15minutes within 2 metres of someone with Covid-19.’ Your physiotherapist DOES NOT count as a close contact if you have had your mask on and the physiotherapist has had their mask, apron and gloves on for the duration of the appointment.
- If you test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of your attendance at the clinic you must notify us as soon as possible so that we are able to trace and advise all those who may have been affected.
- In order to attend the clinic, you will be asked to consent to contact from ourselves via a telephone number that you provide on the day of attendance. This means that, in the event that you may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, we can inform you and provide you with guidance on the next steps.
- If there is a chance that you have been exposed for more than 15minutes within 2 metres of someone with Covid-19, the clinic will by law be required to give your contact details to Public Health authorities without your consent.
Please download and read below information regarding Risk Assessment – Covid 19Download Our Risk Assessment – Covid-19 PDF
If you have any questions prior to your appointment or have any queries in relation to this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0333 2200 238.