COVID 19 - Return to Face-to-Face Newsletter
May 27, 2020
Physiotherapy Matters will be resuming face to face appointments for appropriate cases from 1st June 2020.
We have been closed for face to face appointments and have been delivering Virtual appointments only since 23rd March 2020 to protect our customers, staff, wider communities, to in turn protect the NHS and Save Lives from the risk of Coronavirus.
Key factors in making our decisions
We have followed CSP (Charted Society of Physiotherapists) to consider a number of key factors when undertaking decisions as to whether to see patients face-to-face or not. These factors include:
- Legal, regulatory and professional responsibilities
- Risk assessment of the working environment for our staff and customers
- Infection prevention and control measures
- Access to personal protective equipment
- ‘Virtual first’ approaches
- Patient risk assessment and clinical reasoning
- Patient consent for treatment
The government update on the 11th May 2020 advised that we are now entering phase 2 in the management of spread of Coronavirus, and hence we have reviewed our stance on face-to-face to face Physiotherapy appointments. We have been working through the guidance from government bodies including the HSE, NHS England as well as our professional body (CSP) in resuming face to face appointments in certain circumstances. We have devised screening and clinic environmental measures to enable face-to-face appointments from 1st June 2020 in certain circumstances. The following steps have been developed to determine when face to face appointments can currently be offered:
- All initial appointments offered will remain virtual through customer preferred method – Our electronic booking system TM3, Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, WhatsApp Video, all of which are secure methods of communication, or telephone if preferred.
- Vulnerable, shielding or those displaying symptoms of Coronavirus will not be offered a face-to-face appointments at present.
- Following your initial virtual appointment, you will be invited for a face-to-face appointment only if your therapist deems that further assessment of your problem is required which cannot be carried out virtually, or if you jointly agree a treatment program that requires face-to-face appointments for a problem that, if not currently managed, is likely to require further medical management via your GP, significantly impacting your quality of life, or potential hospital admission.
- If invited for a face-to-face appointment you will be asked to follow our screening process as follows:
- Complete a screening questionnaire before each face-to-face appointment over the phone which you will be asked to sign on your arrival to the clinic.
- Wash or sanitise your hands with the alcohol gel provided on entering and departing the clinic.
- Wear your own face mask when attending the clinic or purchase a disposable mask for £1 on arrival to the clinic, which will be added to your appointment charge as we are not taking any cash payments.
- Comply with the social distancing measures in place in the clinic according to markings on the floor.
- Payment for treatment would be by bank transfer or card machine which will be sanitised between each contact.
- There will be a reduced number of appointments available in order to maintain staff and customer distancing as well as time between appointments to allow for sanitisation of surfaces that customers have been in contact with.
- Our physiotherapists will be wearing PPE including face masks, aprons, face visors or eye protection if required and gloves if deemed necessary, and will be following thorough hand washing regimes before and after customer contact.
Our customers and staff safety is our priority, so we will ensure risks are minimised and will continuously review our measures to ensure we are following government and professional body guidance. Please remember we are still offering:
- Virtual Physiotherapy and treatment
- Virtual 1:1 Physio Led Pilates
- Virtual workstation / DSE assessments
We will continuously review guidance and hope to offer more customers face-to-face appointments in the near future. In the meantime keep well and safe by Staying Alert to Control the Virus and Save Lives!