NYP Covid 19 Update
As some of you may be aware, we are seeing a few clients in the clinic face to face. We wanted to let you know what our current, and ongoing, level of service is and our reasoning for this.
Despite the easing of some lock down measures there is a continued prevalence of Covid 19 and social distancing guidelines remain very much in place. Physiotherapy is, however, a close contact service and inevitably there are therefore risks associated with physiotherapy treatment regarding the transmission and exposure of Covid 19, to our clients and also to our staff.
As a regulated profession, by the Health and Care Professions Council, we must follow their guidelines to uphold our duty of care (and our own personal considerations towards you) and continue to apply our legal, regulatory and professional duties for your safety. This involves limiting contacts as much as possible.
Our New Service
Although we are now seeing a few clients, we are not in any way back to “business as usual”. In fact, we now have a “new normal” for the foreseeable future. We would like to outline that to you here:
- Virtual first. This means we will speak to every client wishing to have an appointment with us via telephone or video link. We will endeavour to manage as many people as we possibly can via video/telephone consultations in the first instance.
- A Physiotherapist will conduct a triage for face to face appointments. This means you will be unable to ring up and book a face to face yourself, book one online or pop into the clinic to make an appointment.
- The decision to book a face to face appointment is a shared decision between the treating physiotherapist and the client once all factors have been discussed and a clear understanding is reached regarding the reasons a face to face is being offered and risks of exposure and transmission of the virus with the precautions in place. A face to face will only be offered if it is deemed that the condition cannot be successfully managed via remote means; the benefits should outweigh the risks and both physio and client preference is taken into account
- The clinical treatment will be structured to try to avoid more than consistent 15 minutes close contact and social distancing will be maintained as much as possible eg. during conversation
- Precautions will be taken at all levels to help minimise the risk of exposure to, and transmission of, the virus as much as possible. These are discussed and demonstrated in this video (please watch and enjoy!) so you will know what to expect on your arrival
- It may be that following some face to face appointments, you reach a stage where your condition can continue to be managed virtually and you return to video consultations.
Currently, we have Dallas and Kate treating and providing all virtual consultations. Most insurance companies are covering these remote sessions as well as face to face. We continue to furlough our reception staff and our employed physio, Hannah. As a result, if we do not answer the phone, please do leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can, ditto for emails.
We have obviously had queries as to how these work! They can be very successful – following a detailed discussion about your symptoms and then asking you to perform some movements and exercises, we can often determine a cause and an individual exercise programme, alongside some specific advice, to help you recover. The exercise programme is sent via email with drawings, descriptions and videos.
Video consultations are conducted via Facetime, What’s App, Zoom or Skype and we have had confirmation from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy that these are secure sites to use. We ask you your preference and for details for us to get hold of you; your treating physio will contact you at the allotted time. We ask if you could be in a room with some space to be able to perform some movements with the camera positioned so we can see you adequately. If there is someone to help you, that can be beneficial. Your treating physio may be calling you from the clinic or from their own home.
You will be able to book a video consultation online. When doing so, please let us know your preferred method of contact and details to enable us to do that eg. a Skype username or a telephone number for Facetime.
We have had a lot of success treating this way, many people being surprised at how effective it can be. But please be reassured, if it isn’t effective we will be prepared to have a discussion with you about a face to face appointment.
The rate for a video consultation is £25 which is for a session of up to 30 minutes. Face to face rates are not changing.
We are asking all payments to be made by BACS via internet or telephone banking. We send an invoice via email after the consultation with our BACS details. If we are working from home, we do not have access to the card machine to take payments over the phone. If in the clinic, we ask for either BACS payment or contactless. In the case of not being able to pay using either of these methods you can send us a cheque.
Sometimes we may recommend exercises that require equipment such as a resistance band. We can post this to you or occasionally drop off at your house if you are local. We still have equipment for sale such as tape, heel pads, shoulder pulleys and supports. Again, we can get these delivered to you. You can see a video of the various products we have in stock here.
We continue to offer home visits, as long as they also meet the criteria for a face to face and there is shared decision making in effect. Precautions are still carried out, for example the use of PPE.
Thank you for your support and patience as we all get used to this new normal for the physiotherapy profession and NYP. We will continue to listen to our professional and regulatory body and adapt as required over the coming months. We hope to be able to bring back our workforce and continue to operate within our precautions.
If you would like to speak to Kate or Dallas regarding the above or would like to see a copy of our risk assessments or policy then please do get in touch.