COVID-19 Patients / Visitor / Contractor Guidance July 2020
July 31, 2020
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 *New 1m plus radius from the infected person and making contact with a mucosal surface of another individual.
Therefore, only those whose symptoms cannot be treated remotely, are having a significant impact on their life and may otherwise cause the patient to attend primary care (ie GP, urgent care centres) will be invited for face-to-face appointments. Due to the nature of these appointments, there will be an element of contact and social 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 for a face-to-face appointment.
These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff here at Physiotherapy Matters Ltd.
Patients and chaperones (see below for more details on chaperones) must ensure they are fit to attend the scheduled Physiotherapy appointment. A member of the admin or clinical team will call a day before your appointment to complete a screening questionnaire with yourself and your chaperone, this must be signed by both parties on arrival to the clinic. PRIOR TO ATTENDING YOUR APPOINTMENT, 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 (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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 and through personal judgement, seek advice by dialling 111.
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.
Clinically extremely vulnerable/shielding?
If you have been asked to shield by the government or your GP you should notify us immediately and not attend the clinic.
Returned from abroad in the past two weeks?
If you have returned from abroad in the past two weeks you should notify us immediately and not attend the clinic.
What to expect when attending the clinic and what is expected from visitors
The 1m plus social distancing policy remains in place in the UK until further notice. Therefore, Physiotherapy Matters will implement these measures in both the public areas of the clinic as well as the treatment rooms.
- Markings will be presented on the clinic floor, patient seating has been adapted, and the table and chairs in treatment rooms now observe a 1m plus 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.
- 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 completed screening questionnaire with a member of the team over the phone.
- 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 time 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 customers will need to use the intercom system for entry to the building.
- Please attend appointments alone, 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.
- As a patient you must use the provided sanitation gels to disinfect hands on entrance to the practice and on departure.
- Patient appointments will be increased by 15 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 practicable 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 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.
- You will be required to wear a mask during your treatment. 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.
Track and Trace:
- Covid-19 is a serious communicable disease which MUST be reported to Public Health authorities for disease management purposes.
- The track 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.’
- If you or your chaperone/translator 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, you and your chaperone/translator 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 or your chaperone 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 appointment or have any queries in relation to this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0333 2200 238.