It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce one of our BOP family is leaving the team. Beverley Underwood, our hypnotherapist, counsellor, massage therapist and all in wonder woman, is leaving the team to start a new life in Cornwall. She will be sadly missed by all of us at BOP. I know Beverley has spoken to many of her clients over the past few days, but in case any of you have not received a call, I apologise for this potentially coming as a shock. Wendy, Louise and Nicki will be able to take over Beverley’s massage and reflexology clients, but we will look to find a suitable replacement for hypnotherapy and counselling, post Covid start-up.
Please be aware that all therapists will not be working their ‘usual hours’ during Covid. This is due to the team having to restructure, to accommodate the requirements of operating ‘hands-on’ treatments at this time. Just to give some perspective on this, osteopathic appointments are usually 30 minute slots, but we have to allow an hour for each. The chiropody 30 minutes, now need 75 minutes, a 45 minute massage now requires 75 minutes, so all needs careful planning. With some treatments like massage and reflexology, we will be restricting appointments to set 45 minute sessions, to accommodate patients and enable us to have minimum potential issues with social distancing clients between the treatment room schedules.
Today I also wanted to bring you up to date about what we are doing to ensure your safety at BOP and what measures we have put in place. If you should so wish to read the full risk assessments and protocols we are following, these can be shown to you upon request. My aim here is not to bombard you with information, which some may find daunting, but to reassure you we are all taking our responsibilities seriously at the practice and every attempt will be made by me and the team to keep you safe.
Even with every possible protocol in place and with the highest hygiene and infection control measure, it would still be impossible to remove all risk. These measures are there to lessen risk, but risk will still exist, not least by the fact that people can be asymptomatic with Covid for many days before symptoms develop and even then symptoms maybe so mild as to go unnoticed.
The measures we are taking and have taken include, but are not limited to these listed. I have justified our reasoning with regards to some decisions as I appreciate there may be questions with regards to why we may have made specific decisions. We have also reflected as a team on your views from survey reports as what you feel are important and implemented these.
All decisions made have been made on a basis of best information available to us at the time and on reasoned clinical debate amongst our therapist team. We have worked together on this and will continue to update, modify or adapt as we go.
- All patients and chaperones attending the practice will be screened for Covid symptoms, being ‘at high risk’ and having been in the presence of anyone with covid symptoms within 14 days. Appointments will be denied for anyone answering positive to any of these questions.
- Temperature testing. Testing everyone’s temperatures at the practice on arrival was considered. There are several issues with this namely-monitors vary in accuracy and are not always reliable, pain medications like paracetamol and other medications can lower temperature, as further evidence emerged with Covid, it has been reported that there are many Covid patients who do not have a high temperature at all and indeed many positive tests have been carried out without people having any symptoms. As a compromise to this we are asking patients to take their own temperatures at home 1 hour before they attend and not attending if they have a temperature of 37.8 or above. Our therapists and staff are doing the same.
- All patients, chaperones and staff will wear masks/ face coverings throughout their time in the clinic.
- Ideally patients will attend appointments on their own. Some patients currently ‘sit in on appointments’, but this increases viral loading potentials to our therapists and to yourselves, which we do not want. We will therefore be asking you to go in to your appointment alone, unless a chaperone is essential to you.
- All patients and staff will follow strict hand, respiratory and social distancing measures when in the clinic. Hand gels/ washing will be carried out on entering and leaving the practice.
- All soft furnishings and non-essential items have been removed from treatment rooms and waiting areas.
- All wash rooms will not be used by patients unless requested by patients, so we can ensure cleaning after use.
- Therapists and staff will ensure touch points are cleaned with detergents after every patient and we have strict guidance on this to follow. We also have a list of various level detergents based on these needs.
- All patients will remain in their car outside the practice and will not enter until directed to do so by their therapist or reception. Patients will attend no sooner than 5 minutes before their appointment time.
- We will use 2 entrances to the practice to minimise footfall through the main carpark entrance. You will be advised if you will be using the 2nd entrance (Sompting Road).
- All appointment times will change and will be staggered. This will allow us to co-ordinate patient appointments and lessen the probability of any 2 patients contacting whilst in the building.
- We will lessen the rooms we use to 3 to lessen patients within the building at any time.
- We will make your visit as contactless as possible. For new patients this may mean we conduct some of your case history taking remotely. For all patients this will mean, contactless payments, or pre-payments, not entering the practice for any longer than is needed and not touching anything when you do enter. Re-booking of appointments will also be made remotely by us calling you or you us.
- Vinyl coverings will cover areas of the carpeted treatment rooms where there is higher traffic. These vinyls will be cleaned between clients also.
- Air-conditioning units will not be used to limit droplet spread. The carpark entrance door will be kept slightly open and treatment room windows slightly open during treatments. Treatment rooms will be fully aerated for 20 minutes between clients.
We are currently building a waiting list for patients for when we return. If you wish to go on the list, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Matt and Chris are likely to be the first to return to practice, with a phased return of the other members of the team.
We will keep you all posted as soon as we are set to go!
Stay safe, stay alert and most of all stay sane!