As I write this we, in England, have moved into the final stages of opening up again after the Covid-19 lockdown. However, we are still in the midst of a surge in new infections as the third wave is hitting. It has also been approximately a year since I first returned to work after the initial Lockdown of March 2020, and I have been working with Covid Secure approaches.
We can be more positive this year as we have vaccines againt Covid-19. There is clear evidence that vaccination is preventing a major surge of hospitalisations and deaths. However, we need to remember that the vaccines are not 100% perfect against catching the virus, but the chances are reduced as are the chances of serious illness needing hospitalisation.
On Monday 19th July 2021, the legislation imposed by the Government ended. However, the clinics and I have a duty of care to keep our clients safe and well (as do all companies ). So with the way infections are at the moment there are slight easings compared to last year and earlier this year, but many Covid Secure measures will remain in effect. This will remain for the foreseeable future, but will be constantly reviewed depending on what the latest figures are and the evidence around best practice.
SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS
Treatments by appointment only. We are still only seeing people by appointment only, but these can be made on the day.
Treatment times still limited to an hour. The evidence sugggests that the virus spreads more easily through the air, unlike the common cold and influenza virus that spread via to droplets and touch. Working in close proximity means that the potential viral load in the air increases with longer treatments, whilst you might be double vaccinated (and I am) I have clients who have not been or are not able to and I need to consider them in my approach.
Intraoral work is available. I am able to offer the full range of treatments, including intraoral. However, I will wear additional PPE for intraoral work and will also be minimising the amount of time I spend working inside the mouth.
Reduced number of appointments during a day. After each client the room will be cleaned and aired for a minimum of 15 minutes. This means that I am unable to offer as many appointments in a day as usual. I am sorry if this means that it is harder to book an appointment.
Changes to clinic times. At present the Clerkenwell clinic is operating with slightly reduced opening hours, with the clinic closing at 7pm. I am only travelling to Stanmore once a week so I am only offering appointments on Fridays.
PPE and Cleaning. I will be wearing a visor and a face covering whilst I am treating. The face covering will be changed and the visor disinfected between clients. The couch, all surfaces and door handles will be disinfected between clients. I will also be wearing an apron and gloves when working intraorally.
Lateral Flow Tests. I am completing two tests per week to check to see if I have unwittingly become infected and will isolate if a test returns as positive.
Risk Assessment. I have completed a Risk Assessment for the return to work in the time of Covid-19. If you would like a copy please contact me. This will be updated in relation to the latest guidance from the UK Government, and Professional Associations.
BOTH CLERKENWELL AND STANMORE CLINICS CONTINUE TO ASK THAT CLIENTS WEAR A FACE COVERING WHEN ENTERING THE CLINICS, UNLESS YOU ARE EXEMPT.
BOOKING AN APPOINTMENT AND PRE APPOINTMENT PROCESS.
There will be no change in how to book an appointment. Please call or email the clinic that is best for you.
ARRIVAL AT CLINIC.
Please arrive on time (as you normally would). Lateness will reduce the amount of time I will spend with you.
However, please do not arrive more than a few minutes before your appointment time as waiting space is limited at both clinics.
Please wear a face covering. Unless you are exempt.
You will be asked to sanitise your hands and the reception team will advise you on where you can do this.
Clerkenwell will also use a non-contact thermometer to take your temperature on arrival.
Toilets are available, but these will need to be sanitised after each use so we respectfully ask that you don’t use them unless necessary.
I will come and collect you and take you to the Treatment Room.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE APPOINTMENT
Please try to bring as little to the appointment as possible.
Towels/pillows. To make the environment safer and cleaning easier soft furnishings, like towels and fabric pillows, have been removed from the treatment room. Clerkenwell does not have the facilities to wash and dry towels so clients are asked to bring their own, or a thin sheet can be used.
Clothing. Please bring suitable clothing to be treated in. As mentioned above there will no towels provided so if you don’t bring one then you need to feel comfortable in what you wear to be treated in. For ladies I would suggest a comfortable bra, or a bikini top, or a vest top and shorts. Please no skin tight shorts, such as yoga pants, as Myofasical Release needs skin to skin contact and these can make it very difficult to treat.
THE APPOINTMENT SESSION
I will escort you to the room, opening doors for you as appropriate.
I will be trying to minimise chat during the treatment, which means that the face covering remains in place better.
Treatment will take place, during which I will wear the appropriate PPE.
You will be asked to get dressed and then I’ll escort you back to the exit.
AFTER THE APPOINTMENT.
After you have gone, I will be disinfecting the couch, and all surfaces (e.g. chairs, tables, door handles) that have you might have touched whilst in the clinic.
I will dispose of any PPE in a safe manner, the Visor will be disinfected.
The room will be aired for a minimum of 15 minutes.
I know that many people think that the pandemic has passed, but personally I do not see there being many changes to the way I work for sometime to come. I will be adjusting things, such as lenght of treatments, but I will be guided by the best practice information and guidance from my Professional Associations, the UK Government as well as the scientific research. I expect to be wearing a face mask whilst treating from now on, possibly until I retire.
Thanks for reading this, and I hope that you all stay safe and healthy,