COVID-19: Infection Control Procedures

We have assessed all aspects of our practice following detailed guidance from the General Osteopathic Council, the governing body for all osteopaths in the UK, and in line with government guidance and legislation.

As a result, we have put in additional processes as detailed below, to mitigate for any identified infection risks associated with COVID-19.

Dates last risk assessment undertaken: 25th  October 2020.

Risk assessment to be reviewed next on: 30th November 2020, 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.

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 call the patient to discuss 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:

15 minutes have been added to all in-person appointment slots, to allow time for cleaning between sessions and to minimise contact between patients.

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.

Patients will be asked to avoid use of the waiting area and walk straight through to the clinic room at the time of their appointment.

4. Personal Hygiene and PPE – Osteopaths:

When a patient enters the practice, they will be greeted by the Osteopath from a safe distance and asked to sit at the desk opposite the Osteopath while symptoms are discussed and notes taken. The length of the desk will serve as a barrier and an aid to keep the appropriate distance between patient and practitioner.

For the duration of any physical examination and treatment, the Osteopath will be wearing disposable gloves and apron and a medical-grade fluid-resistant surgical mask (FRSM Type IIR).

Following each session, and after cleaning the room (as outlined in section 3), the Osteopath will dispose of their gloves and apron and wash their hands and forearms 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 for their appointment, and to use a hand-sanitising gel as soon as they enter the practice.

There is no need to use door handles: The front door can be pushed open once it is unlocked remotely via our intercom system. The clinic room door will be left open for patients to walk straight in.

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 covering, and have replaced our usual pillows and covers with wipable 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 for each patient individually.

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.

7. Aeration of Clinic Room:

Windows in the clinic room will be opened following each session, and if appropriate during sessions, to aerate the room. During sessions we will only do this with the patient’s consent and whilst maintaining an appropriate level of privacy.

8. Patient Communication:

This risk assessment and mitigation document will be shared with current and prospective patients via the practice’s newsletter, website, and social media channels. Printed and electronic copies of the document will also be available upon request.

9. Contact Information:

Any concerns, questions or comments with regards to this document should be directed in the first instance to the practice owner, Mrs Orit Huntley, via email at: info@meadowsideosteopathy.co.uk.