Clinic Coronavirus Policies & Procedures: How will the new rules/clinic changes affect me (the client)?

This webpage helps explain the differences clients can expect in bookings, consultations, treatment, clinic setup and therapist personal protective equipment (PPE). My new policies and procedures have been developed using my in-depth risk assessment combined with extensive consideration of documents/advice from government, professional associations, industry councils and my massage/bodywork school (see relevant links at the bottom of this document). Some of the new policies/procedures are mandatory, some advisory, but all are in place to keep you safe, reduce transmission risk and help protect the clinic from periods of closure. As a CNHC registrant I am able to continue working during lockdown/tier 4+ restrictions, strictly for those with ‘clinical need’ (moderate-severe pain/symptoms), I do require a doctors/allied health professionals refferal/permission to do house calls during lockdown/tier 4+, however.

AAB Coronavirus (lockdown) Risk Assessment update 16-2-21

Book an appointment online via Cliniko

Extra control measures at periods of lockdown and/or coronavirus alert level 5

  • Only clients with a ‘clinical need’ (ie. pain condition, injury, treatable health problem) will be treated during lockdown/tier 4+. Relaxation, maintenance or treatment for pleasure not appropriate at this time.

  • On arrival at clinic, I will take the clients temperature using a contact-free infared thermometer (on forehead). If the clients temperature is over 37.8C (a fever) I will refuse treatment as they may have coronavirus/contagious infection. Refusal to treat also likely if they have an unexplained cough, or they appear unwell.

  • Clients in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category, or over 80 years of age, are advised that a small transmission risk still exists. They should way up the risk of infection against the potential benefit of treatment, especially if they are not vaccinated against coronavirus (Kipp has been vaccinated).

  • Clients will have to complete an extra section of the ‘coronavirus pre-treatment checks form’ during lockdown/tier 4+. This will be emailed/texted you the night before treatment and completion is compulsory before hands-on treatment. During lockdown you will need to specify what you ‘clinical need’ for treatment is, and that your pain/symptoms are 5/10 > 10/10 (moderate-severe).

  • Clients treatment notes will have extra sections to log their current body temperature, that they don’t have any coronavirus symptoms currently and that they have not been exposed to coronavirus in the last 10 days, which must be completed each treatment.

  • I will limit time treating the ‘high risk zone’ around the face/anterior neck, and will avoid intra-oral work, during lockdown/tier 4+. I will try to avoid working over your face area, to limit transmission risk.

  • I will wear a mask at all times when clients are in the clinic. I will also wear a visor during treatment.

Coronavirus control measures implemented at alert levels 3-5

  • Treatment to be refused if the client has not completed a full new client consultation form, and the coronavirus pre-treatment checks form, or refuses to wear a mask without medical exemption.

  • All appointment booking now online via Cliniko online bookings, or by contacting Kipp directly on Tel: 07769 666448

  • Short and longer treatments are no longer available, all (hands-on) treatments now 35 or 50 minutes.

  • Physical greetings such as hand shaking, hugs or cheek kisses are not appropriate due to infection risk.

  • You are not required to give the standard 24 hours’ notice for cancelling an appointment if you have coronavirus or COVID-19 symptoms (you will have to contact Kipp directly though, you wont be able to cancel via Clinko within 24 hours) or have been exposed to coronavirus. No cancellation fee will be charged in this instance.

  • You MUST cancel your appointment if you have any coronavirus symptoms (even a slight cough), or have been exposed within the last 10 days (including a household member with symptoms).

  • You are required to fill out a new client questionnaire, GDPR & coronavirus pre-treatment check Cliniko online form, prior to your appointment (unless you have completed the paper equivalent, as an existing client). If you do not have access to a computer/email, please arrange a telephone call with Kipp, where he will take you through the required forms over the phone (free of charge).

  • Extra time has been scheduled between appointments, and at the end of the day, for airing & cleaning the clinic. his extra time is reflected in longer online appointment booking times (25 mins between treatments).

  • All non-essential contact time should be avoided. Prolonged consultations/aftercare should be via Telehealth (online) or phone call, and brief consultations/clinical observations at 2m social distancing when in clinic.

  • Extremely vulnerable clients/over 80s are advised to book the first treatment of the day (or first after lunch break) as this is safer regarding infection risk. Up to 5 treatments can be booked online (up to 12 weeks ahead) if specific times are required.

  • My clients will no longer use Compleet Feet’s waiting area. In good weather wait outside the clinic, on the marked chair. In bad weather, or after dark, wait in office/storeroom above my clinic (up the stairs) on the wipe down chair signposted.

  • Kipp will be wearing PPE. At present this will be a visor, surgical mask, nitrile gloves & waterproof (sanitised) apron.

  • Considerable (infection) control measures have been put in place in the clinic, to reduce transmission risk and help keep those inside as safe as possible. Try to avoid touching unnecessary things.

  • You will be required to sit on ‘wipe clean’ chairs, and to put your belongings/mask/phone etc in BLUE plastic boxes during consultation/treatment. Please place your used linens in the RED lidded box after your treatment, or leave them on the treatment couch.

  • Please attend your appointment alone, unless you need mobility/communication/emotional assistance, or your child is being treated.

  • You will be required to wash or sanitise your hands prior to clinic entry. Use the sink in the toilet in porch area or sanitiser provided (ie. outside clinic on windowsill).

  • From 8th August masks/face coverings are COMPULSORY when visiting the clinic. Please bring one with you, I can provide one if you forget but this incurs extra expense/waste. If you have a genuine (medical) reason you cannot wear a mask this is acceptable, other reasons are not. You can remove it when ‘face down’ on the couch, a pillow case sling will be used under your face.

  • No eating in the clinic/waiting area is allowed. I can provide water but its better if you bring your own bottle.

  • You may be refused treatment if you appear ill, have an unexplained cough, or have a temperature (I may ask to check your temperature with a contactless thermometer).

  • I will be using more seated, sidelying or prone work, to avoid working near/over your face. I will try to avoid standing directly over your face.

  • It is ESSENTIAL that you follow my coronavirus policies, to keep therapists/clients/the clinic safe, or you may be refused treatment.

  • Please pay by card, bank transfer or IZettle payment links. If you are to pay cash you must bring the correct money as I cannot handle change. I will ask you to place the correct money in a plastic envelope to avoid touching it.

  • Forms and advice documents will now be paperless and sent via Cliniko software (apart from a few essential ones I will print for people without computers - eg. this summary, post treatment advice).

  • You must contact me if you fall ill with coronavirus symptoms within 2 days of treatment, as I must inform NHS test & trace services and may have to self-isolate.

  • I am legally obliged to keep records of who has attended the clinic for 21 days and will have to pass on these details to NHS test & trace if a coronavirus positive individual is found to have entered the clinic.

  • I may have to self-isolate for 10 days if a coronavirus positive individual is found to have been in the clinic for over 15 minutes. This will cost me allot of money, PLEASE DON’T ATTEND CLINIC IF YOU FEEL UNWELL, or have been exposed to coronavirus.

  • The likelihood of transmission will be greatly reduced with my control measures, PPE & good hand/mask hygiene & vaccination, however, there remains small risk which can’t be eliminated. This risk will be higher as transmission rates increase (ie alert level increases).

  • Over 70’s, those in the vulnerable (especially extremely vulnerable) categories would be wise to weigh up benefit (of treatment) against risk (of infection) to make an informed choice as to whether they require ‘hands-on’ treatment. You might consider an online Telehealth appointment instead, shorter treatments also offer a lower transmission risk.

  • VULNERABLE (moderate risk) groups include: all over 70’s, pregnant women, those with lung & heart disease, obese individuals, diabetics and anyone with a suppressed immune system. See the link at the bottom of this page for extremely vulnerable group information.

  • If a member of your household is vulnerable, or particularly extremely vulnerable, also consider them in your risk-benefit analysis.

  • If you have had coronavirus, I cannot treat you until you have been symptom free for a full 10 days.

  • If you have had severe coronavirus infection (ie. been hospitalised) I cannot treat you for 3 months after discharge without reassurance that you have checked with your doctor that there is no medical reason (contraindication) that you should not be treated (due to post CV-19 complications/clotting issues). Please consult your doctor before treatment.

  • If you have any unusual leg pains/cramping, rashes, or a new persistant headache let Kipp know, especially if you have had coronavirus or CV-19 symptoms.

  • To aid ventilation/reduce transmission risk I will have the window open, if weather allows. I will also have an air purifier (HEPA filter) with UV germ killer running at all times in the clinic, to reduce transmission risk.

  • I have a NHS COVID-19 Track & Trace QR code poster displayed inside & outside the clinic. I would encourage clients to download the app, and scan in to Alton Advanced Bodywork clinic each clinic visit (to protect the clinic & each other).

EVENING APPOINTMENTS: after 18.30 you can park ‘around the back’ in The Old Coach House car park, situated within Saxon Mews car park (opposite 8 Saxon Mews). Once you have parked, walk through the archway, down the alley & wait outside the clinic (or in the room above my clinic if cold/dark/wet).

You & your households health:

-I have done everything I can to reduce the risk of transmission to as small a level as possible, and ensure I do not attend work if I have coronavirus symptoms, plus I am now vaccinated, further reducing risk. However, wherever humans are in contact a transmission risk still exists (though this will be drastically reduced with infection control measures). For most healthy and younger people the risk of getting infected is lower, also the likelihood of serious illness is considerably lower, so they may be less concerned with a (low) infection risk. However, people who are older (esp 70+), or have health complications, would be wise to take the risk more seriously, and weigh up well-being benefits against a small infection risk. The government has identified 2 groups more likely to get seriously ill with COVID-19; vulnerable and extremely vulnerable:

VULNERABLE: A large number of people fall into the ‘vulnerable’ (moderate risk) category, including:

  • People 70 or older

  • People with a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)

  • Those with heart disease (such as heart failure)

  • Diabetics

  • People with chronic kidney disease or liver disease (such as hepatitis)

  • Those with a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)

  • People with a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections

  • Those taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)

  • Very obese (a BMI of 40 or above) individuals

  • Pregnant ladies

EXTREMELY VULNERABLE: People at high risk from serious coronavirus illness include those who:

  • have had an organ transplant

  • are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy

  • are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer

  • adults with Down’s syndrome

  • are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein -kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)

  • have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)

  • have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine

  • have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)

  • have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)

  • are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)

  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)

  • have a serious heart condition and are pregnant

It is especially important for extremely vulnerable people to limit their risk of infection as much as possible. I can treat individuals who are elderly/extremely vulnerable, but only if treatment is essential (eg. they are in moderate-severe pain) and they are willing to accept a small transmission risk, to receive treatment (a Telehealth appointment might be a better option?).

The other important thing to consider is if a member of your household is extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. In this instance you must decide if you are willing to accept a small infection risk given that it is possible this will be passed on to an extremely vulnerable household/family member. I emphasise the risk of infection will be very low, due to my control measures/PPE/vaccination.

Another important factor I must consider with regards to your health regards prior coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. I am able to treat people who have had coronavirus, however it is very important that you let me know about this and discuss your infection severity/symptoms with me. I can’t treat until you have been clear of symptoms (well) for at least 10 days. If you have been seriously ill (hospitalised) I also can’t treat you until you have been symptom free (well) for 3 months, without a doctor’s letter stating they are happy for me to treat you. This is because coronavirus thickens the blood causing clotting problems and increasing the risk of thrombosis, stroke and pulmonary embolism (all contraindicated for treatment). If you have had any of these conditions, coagulopathy (clotting problems), or unusual pain/swelling/cramping in your legs you must let Kipp know prior to treatment, in case treatment is contraindicated. If you have any unusual rashes post infection please let Kipp know, as these may make clotting issues more likely. Also let Kipp know if you have been put on blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin, or steroids.

Information sources:

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