COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT
1. HYGIENE MEASURES.
These are the hygiene measures that we think are sensible and workable within our small studio practice. We are extremely lucky that we are not a large practice and only have two osteopaths and one treatment space to consider. These heightened hygiene measures are designed to ensure risk mitigation and a safer environment for you.
1.1. We will provide hand sanitiser at the entrance of our studio – please use it when entering and leaving.
1.2. We will meet you at the gate before the appointment and escort you back to the gate after the treatment. Practitioners will open and close gates and doors and will subsequently wash their hands.
1.3. There is hand sanitiser available in the treatment room as well as on the shelf next to the sink in the entrance way.
1.4. Paper hand towels will be used.
1.5. We have signs to remind patients to wash hands before and after treatment and to close the toilet lid before flushing toilet.
1.6. We have instructions for correct hand washing technique by the sink.
1.7. Practitioners will thoroughly wash their hands before and after treating each patient and at other times when necessary.
1.8. The studio room is left to air for an interval after each treatment session for droplet settlement after which all contact surfaces are disinfected (including chairs, treatment plinth, pillows, desk-top and edges, pens, payment machine, door handles).
1.9. Practitioners will open doors for patients to avoid door handle contact.
1.10. We have removed the cotton pillow covers and replaced them with a wipeable cover which will be wiped down with disinfectant after each patient.
1.11. We have removed the fabric treatment plinth cover and will instead be use disposable paper. The paper will be disposed of and the plinth will be wiped down with disinfectant after each patient.
1.12. We have removed towels from the treatment room and ask that patients bring their own clean towel if they feel they might need to be covered for warmth in the treatment. We would advise this for our CFS patients.
1.13. We have removed any fabric chairs from the studio and have replaced them temporarily with metal chairs which are wiped clean between patients.
1.14. We have removed the carpet from the treatment area and be asking for people to remove their footwear in the entrance area. We would recommend bringing socks or flip flops to change into.
1.15 Alcohol wipes are available so that patients can wipe down contact surfaces in the restroom before use, if desired.
1.16. There will be a sign up in the toilet requesting patients close the toilet seat before flushing.
1.17. We will not be accepting cash payments. Alcohol wipes are used to regularly disinfect the card payment machine, but we will be asking for payments to be made by BACs transfer before each treatment.
1.18. Our osteopaths will wear a fluid resistant IIR face mask and all patients will be asked to wear their own face covering or face mask.
1.19. Our osteopaths will be changing their scrub tops between patients and laundering at 60°.
2. OPERATIONAL CHANGES
We have also needed to introduce some operational changes to facilitate the heightened hygiene measures described above, fulfil our public health obligations and to ensure unnecessary contact time
2.1. We will have fewer appointment slots available in the day to be able to include time between appointments for the extra airing and cleaning tasks to take place and to avoid patients crossing in the entranceway.
2.2. We have no seating or waiting area; we will request that patients do not arrive early for their appointments.
2.3. Patients will receive a screening questionnaire and self-declaration that they will need to fill in when they book online before their attendance to the practice to assess their health, vulnerability and potential exposure to the virus.
2.4. We will not treat patients who have had contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in the 14 days before attendance or people who are or have been unwell with COVID-19 like symptoms until they have been well for 7 clear days. Patients from these groups can book an online Telehealth appointment with one of our osteopaths for advice.
2.5. We will be taking the temperature of patients on arrival at the studio (using a forehead monitor which will be sanitised after every use and does not make contact with skin) and we reserve the right to turn away anyone who appears to be unwell.
2.6. We respectfully request that anyone arriving by public transport to wear a face mask and to maintain as much social distancing within that mode of transport as is possible; if on a bus, sit or stand near an open window. If you arrive by taxi, same rule applies; please wear a face mask and keep window open. If you can make the journey on foot, by bicycle or in a private vehicle this is preferable.
2.7. All osteopaths will have their own temperature checked and recorded and will be required to sign a self-declaration of health to work at the start of each clinic session.
2.8. We will no longer be accepting cash. Payment is requested preferably by bank transfer prior to the appointment to minimise surface contact or card payments using a pin card pad which will be sanitised after each use.
2.9. We will no longer be accepting the presence of chaperones as the studio is not big enough to facilitate 2 metre distancing from them whilst working. We can recommend other osteopaths locally who have the space to accommodate this need.
2.10. New patients will be handled slightly differently from usual. To limit close contact time, we will conduct the case history in a tele-health online consultation in the day before your face-to-face appointment. In the face-to-face appointment we will carry out the physical assessment, provide a diagnosis and prognosis and continue with treatment if consent is obtained. New patients are asked to get in contact by email, so that these appointments can be organised.
2.11. If we are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Programme, we reserve the right to divulge your name and contact details to the service if we are identified as having come into contact with someone positively tested with COVID-19. Our risks are mitigated, as detailed above, and currently we do not believe that PHE will be requesting this data if we have adhered to the measures outlined.
All these precautions are designed to keep us safe, to keep you safe by minimising transmission risk and therefore help keep the virus under control. These measures will be under constant review as our regulatory guidance changes. your paragraph here.
Next Review: 01/08/2020 or when GOsC guidance is updated.
Author: Victoria Diamond