COVID-19 Patient and Visitor Guidance July 2021
July 19, 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.
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.
All visitors (including patients, chaperones and contractors) will complete a COVID-19 screening ahead of attending 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) or smell (Anosmia)
If you have any of these symptoms please call the clinic immediately.
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. For more guidance on what to do if you have symptoms, see the NHS website.
For subsequent visits within 4 weeks of the previous visit, no further screening will be required, however, at any point, if you, your chaperone or a member of either household has symptoms of COVID-19, has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days, or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, or if you have been in close contact with anyone in the last 10 days who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, please call the clinic immediately to either rearrange your appointment or convert it to a remote consultation.
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.
Returned from abroad?
If you have returned from a country that requires quarantine in the past 10 days you should not attend the clinic, but please notify us as soon as possible to either rearrange your appointment or convert it to a remote consultation. For more information regarding quarantining following travel, see the government guidance.
While vaccination lowers the risk of severe illness, it is still possible to carry and transmit the virus following a vaccination. It also does not completely remove the risk of severe illness. All guidelines, expectations and requirements outlined within this document therefore apply regardless of vaccination status.
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, with the exception of during examination and treatment (the risk here is reduced by use of PPE)
- 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.
- Do not attend the clinic without a pre-booked appointment.
- 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.
- 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, please let us know when booking your appointment. Your chaperone 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 when booking your appointment.
- We ask that all visitors and patients use the provided sanitation gels to disinfect their hands on entrance to the practice and on departure.
- The clinic rooms and reception area will be cleaned by our team between each appointment.
- 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 has been removed from the waiting room.
- Please be mindful of unnecessary contact of surfaces during your visit.
- 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.
- All reusable equipment will be sanitised between uses.
- Physiotherapists will be wearing face masks to protect those around them.
- 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.
- We politely request that all visitors wear a mask when visiting the clinic (unless exempt) in order to protect the health of our staff and other visitors to the clinic. Patients are asked to keep their mask on during treatment (with the exception of those being treated for jaw pain).
- If you are exempt from wearing a mask, or unwilling to wear a mask, please let us know during the booking process so we can ensure that we can make reasonable adjustments to ensure risk is minimised to yourself, to other visitors of the clinic, and to our staff.
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 have been required to remove your mask for treatment (for example for jaw pain), or if you have been unable or unwilling to wear a mask and your physiotherapist was wearing a visor/face shield, they will also not count as a close contact.
- 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.
If you have any questions prior to your visit, or have any queries in relation to this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0333 2200 238.
Please see below for a downloadable version of this policy.COVID 19 Patient and Visitor Guidance July 2021