In July 2020 I have returned to work after the Lockdown imposed by the UK Government to reduce the spread of SARS-Covid-19. To comply with the rules, regulations and guidelines set by the UK Government, Insurance Companies and the Professional Associations I belong to, there are changes to the way that I work. This blog is to run through what to expect around a treatment.
Summary of key points
Treatments by appointment only. Previously I was able to accommodate walk-in if my diary was able, but as I now need new patients to complete an intake form and have a pre-appointment Zoom consultation before their first appointment it is unlikely that I will be able to offer walk-in treatments.
Treatment times altered. I am only offering hour long appointments, with a maximum of 45 minutes hands-on/in room time. I will be phoning all patients prior to their appointment to complete the health check on their Covid symptoms, as well as a chat about what they are hoping to get from the treatment, and any relevant medical history. This conversation would normally take place in the first 10-15 minutes of an appointment and so there is very little difference to the service that you the patient will receive. I want to maximise the “on table” treatment time of your session.
Treatment restrictions. There are some high risk areas (such as the face and neck) that will be approached in a different way to the one I normally adopt. Also, at this time I am not allowed to do any intra-oral (inside the mouth) work, but I have other methods to address these issues.
Reduced number of appointments during a day. After each client the room will be cleaned and aired for a minimum of 30 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 6pm. 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.
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 ASK THAT CLIENTS ARRIVE WEARING A FACE COVERING. IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE THEY HAVE MASKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.
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.
New patients will be sent an intake form that needs to be completed and sent to me, and to also book a Zoom consultation before your first appointment. Details on how to book this consultation are included in the intake form. This 20-30 minute consultation covers your medical history, postural assessments, as well as giving you an opportunity ask any questions. Please note that this Zoom call is booked via an online calendar, and my availability is limited due to clinic times. Please do not leave it to the day of your appointment to complete this intake form and book the Zoom consultation.
All clients will have a phone call or Zoom consultation the day before with me to confirm your potential Covid status (checking your symptoms and exposure) as well as finding out your current situation.
Arrival at Clinic.
Please arrive on time (as you normally would). Lateness will reduce the amount of time I can 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. From the 24th July it is law to wear one in shops in England, and it is the policy of both clinics that you wear one on arrival. You may be refused entry if you don’t. There are exceptions, but please wear a mask if you are able to.
You will be asked to sanitise your hands and the reception team will advise you on where you can do this.
Both Clinics will ask you to sign a consent form to confirm, in writing, that you are free of Covid-19 symptoms and have been abiding by the Government Guidelines for the previous 14 days.
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.
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. Clients are asked to bring their own if needed or they feel more comfortable. A single sheet is a lightweight option. I will have paper couch roll that can be used in certain circumstances, but this does not offer the same privacy as a fabric covering.
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.
There are restictions about the positions that I can have clients in for treatment to access certain high risk areas, such as the head and neck, so please be ready to be treated seated as well as lying down. Having clothing that you feel safe and comfortable in and able to move is important.
I will be trying to minimise chat during the treatment, which means that the face covering remains in place better, and this is why the pre-appointment conversation is important.
You will be asked to undress to your comfort level, and I will leave the room as you do this (as I usually do).
Treatment will take place, during which I will also wear a visor.
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 30 minutes.
I know that all of this sounds daunting, and it can feel overwhelming. However, I am trying to make this as unintimidating for my clients.
I am doing my best to remain aware of any changes that are being made to the Guidelines that I have to follow and as things ease then there will be updates and changes to the way that I work in accordance to the changes.
I am a member of a number of Professional Associations that have produced guidelines on safe practice in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The main two whose guidelines are the most stringent are the APNT and the ISRM. The APNT guidelines have been approved by the BEIS and available from the Government list of Coronavirus support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations and they are the only Massage Association on this list.
The Professional Associations websites clickable from their logos below: