COVID-19: Infection Control Procedures
We have assessed all aspects of our practice, in line with government guidance and legislation, and following detailed guidance from the General Osteopathic Council – the governing body for all Osteopaths in the UK.
As a result, we have put in the processes detailed below, to mitigate for any identified infection risks associated with COVID-19.
Dates last risk assessment undertaken: 1 September 2021.
Risk assessment to be reviewed next on: 31 October 2021, or if Government guidance changes, whichever is sooner.
1. Screening Patients’ Health Ahead of Appointments:
All patients will be sent a short health-screening questionnaire and asked to fill and submit this within 24 hours prior to their appointment. This form must be completed before the appointment can commence.
If any concerns arise as a result of the screening (either for the health of the patient, the practitioner or other patients), the osteopath will discuss with the patient the optimal course of action for the safest outcome for everyone.
If a patient requires a chaperone to attend the appointment with them, the chaperone will also need to submit the same health-screening questionnaire up to 24 hours prior to attending the practice.
2. Provision of Remote Osteopathic Consultations:
Remote osteopathic consultations via online video calls will be available for any patients who wish to see an osteopath without attending the practice in person, for those who are unable to attend, or if it is decided following their health screening (as outlined in section 1) that they should not attend the practice.
3. Cleaning Regimes and Room Ventilation:
All surfaces in the clinic room will be thoroughly cleaned using disinfectant wipes or liquid after each session. This includes the treatment bench and pillows, desk and chairs, door handles, card machine and other surfaces.
The clinic room and common areas in the building will also be thoroughly cleaned daily as always, with particular attention given to door handles, light switches and other surfaces in frequent use.
Where appropriate, the clinic room will be have an open window to allow for ventilation and there will be regular gaps between appointments to allow for room ventilation, room cleaning and reducing contact with others.
4. Personal Hygiene and PPE – Osteopaths:
Osteopaths will be wearing a medical-grade fluid-resistant surgical mask (FRSM Type IIR) throughout the day, outside of the treatment room and whilst patients or colleagues are in the room.
For the duration of each treatment, Osteopaths will be wearing a disposable apron, gloves and a surgical mask type IIR (as above).
Following each session, the Osteopath will dispose of their apron and gloves, and wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
According to NHS guidelines on use of surgical masks, masks may be worn for up to 4 hours, but must be replaced if there is any suspicion of contamination, or if they are damaged, damp, dirty or difficult to breathe through.
5. Personal Hygiene and PPE – Patients:
Patients will be asked to wear a face-covering to their appointment. When a patient enters the practice, they will be greeted by the Osteopath from a safe distance, offered a Type IIR face mask and asked to wash or sanitise their hands.
There are tissues available for use in case of coughs or sneezes, and a lined bin for disposing of tissues. If used for this purpose, the bin will be emptied before another patient arrives in the room.
6. Hygiene of Shared Equipment:
We will not be using our cloth couch coverings, and have replaced our usual pillows with wipeable versions.
Patients are invited to bring their own clean towel and pillow for their appointment. If a towel is needed during the appointment, we will use a clean towel which has been washed at 60C degrees or above for each patient.
Patients will be given the option to pay online ahead of their appointment if they wish to avoid use of the card machine. Details for this will be provided in appointment confirmation emails. If the card machine is used, it will be wiped down after use with a disinfectant wipe.
7. Patient Communication:
This risk assessment and infection control document will be shared with current and prospective patients via the Practice’s website, with links to it provided in every appointment conformation email and via a newsletter announcement.
Printed and electronic copies of the document will also be available upon request.
8. Massage appointments
Massage appointments are now able to go ahead. For continuity, the same Osteopathy protocols will be used with the appropriate use of PPE.
9. Contact Information:
Any concerns, questions or comments with regards to this document should be directed in the first instance to the Practice Director, Mrs Orit Huntley, via email at: email@example.com.