Taunton
Chiropractic
Neck & Back Pain Clinic
Professional, Friendly Healthcare
Talk to us on: (01823) 333973

Patient Return to Practice Policy COVID-19


Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide clear and concise information to patients regarding them returning to the practice.  This helps to limit risk and protect patients, staff and practitioners.  This is a developing document which is designed to be checked prior to each visit for changes.



Contents


1. Introduction


2. What is expected of our patients before attending the clinic?


3. What is expect of our patients when attending an appointment?


4. What are we as a clinic doing to limit risk to patients, staff and practitioners?


5. Other information and resources



1. Introduction


Following the most recent advice from the government and our chiropractic associations we are so pleased to say that we are now able to see patients face to face for treatment. We pride ourselves on honest and transparency, and whilst we as a clinic have done everything we can to limit risk of COVID-19 transmission we all know this can not be guaranteed by anyone at this time.  You must know that you are attending your appointment knowing this to be the case.


This is still a delicate time and we still have a responsibility to our community to ensure that we practice in a way that, to the very best of our ability, limits any spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, we have social distancing measures in place throughout the clinic and we ask that our patients observe these at all times.  During treatment where a 2m distance is not possible our practitioners will be wearing appropriate PPE sourced from specific approved suppliers so not to affect the NHS supply chain.


To help protect you, our staff and our practitioners we have produced a set of simple patient guidelines to give you a pleasant and most of all safe visit to the clinic.  We ask that you please:


  • Do not bring family members with you to your appointments unless they are needed for mobility or communication reasons
  • Please use hand sanitisers on entering and exiting the building
  • Avoid any unnecessary handling of furniture or clinic property
  • Where possible please wear clothing that allows your practitioner to see the area that is being treated and allows good flexibility. For example a vest top for women having their neck treated, gym wear for lower back treatment, shorts for knee and ankle treatment. Gowns will still be provided where necessary but we ask that this be kept to a minimum
  • Use your own face mask in line with government guidelines where necessary.  Due to the supply levels of PPE we are unable to provide masks to patients
  • When booking an appointment, please ensure your email address and phone number are up to date as we will be sending pre-appointment emails with more precise details on the appointment process


Our team have been fully trained on our updated infection control policies and procedures to further ensure your safety and theirs.




2. What is expected of our patients before attending the clinic?



Patient pre-visit screening process


Initial screening may take place by phone or other remote triage methods, prior to a patient entering the premises or clinical area or at 2 metres social distance. For many patients this will take place at the time of booking.  The chiropractor assesses that an individual is asymptomatic, symptomatic and meets the case definition or where the potential risk cannot be established.  If symptomatic or if the when the chiropractors is unable to establish a clear decision, the BCA (British Chiropractic Association) advises that these patients should not be offered a face to face consultation​.  Instead chargeable phone, digital video consultations may be offered as well as home exercise and digital exercise plans.  We reserve the right to refuse appointments on this basis until such time that a suitable isolation period has taken place.


We ask that patients complete the NHS symptom checker BEFORE attending the clinic.  

If you receive a phone triage these questions may be asked by your practitioner who will use your answers to enter to the NHS symptom checker.


This process takes less than a minute to do.  If no symptoms enter 0 number of days since symptoms started.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/


Questions for NHS Screening

  • 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)
  • Have you become breathless or more breathless than usual?



3. What is expect of our patients when attending an appointment?


All patients must wash their hands just before leaving their home.


Please come dressed appropriately for treatment as we will be limiting gown use to essential.  For example; female receiving neck treatment should wear vest top which exposes the area adequately for treatment (Please note bras can remain on as normal).  If you are receiving low back treatment flexible clothing which can easily be manoeuvred to expose the skin of the low back would be worn.  For lower limb issues please consider wearing shorts.


We ask patients not to arrive too early as this may disrupt the strict timing of the clinic and result in increased risk of patient to patient contact.  If you arrive early, please remain in your car until a few minutes before your appointment.  3-5 minutes before your appointment please make your way to the main entrance and wait outside.  

Your practitioner or a staff member will collect you from there and escort you to your designated waiting area within the clinic that ensures you are 2m from anyone else. On entering and exiting the building you will be asked to use the provided hand sanitiser to clean your hands.  Best practise posters from Public Health England (PHE) are displayed for your education and guidance.  Full hand washing facilities including running water and soap are provided in the washrooms as normal.  In our Chard clinic the washrooms will be out of action due to the proximity to the reception desk - please use the provided hand sanitiser.


We ask that you remain 2m from any other person whilst attending appointments.  This is with the obvious exception of your practitioner who will be wearing appropriate PPE and following strict guidelines.  Even with your practitioner we ask that you keep close contact to the bear minimum required for us to provide high quality care.


We ask that you refrain from touching clinic property where possible including door handles and other hard surfaces.



4. What are we as a clinic doing to limit risk to patients, staff and practitioners?


We have contacted a thorough risk assessment and implemented mitigating actions where necessary to reduce risk as much as possible.  This includes reducing footfall through the clinic, spacing appointments, training for all practitioners and staff, increased infection control process and procedures, wearing of correct PPE, increased signage around this clinics, and floor markings to help patient flow and reduce patient to patient contact.


Our staff are on phased return and shifts have been altered.  Our practitioners have also changed shift and are on phased return so to limit contact within the clinic.  


We are operating strict social distancing procedures and correct PPE where social distancing is not possible during treatment.


You will notice our practitioners now wear scrubs during treatment.  This is to limit cross infection.  


There are increase hand sanitisation stations around the clinic for all to use.



5. Other information and resources


NHS symptom checker (COVID-19)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/


British Chiropractic Association COVID-19 Updates Page

https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/


The Government Recovery Plan

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884760/Our_plan_to_rebuild_The_UK_Government_s_COVID-19_recovery_strategy.pdf


Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19


Coronavirus and your Mental Wellbeing

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#collapseb6550


Coronavirus outbreak FAQ’s: what you can and can’t do

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do