Helping patients through the coronavirus crisis
As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us have been faced with real questions about how to lead our daily lives. We’ve all felt how uncomfortable and frustrating the uncertainty and restrictions can be. I have seen that those feelings are magnified when your health, or that of a family member, is the cause of that uncertainty.
I’ve had several questions over the past few months from patients about handling their acupuncture appointments and needs since the stay-at-home measures went into place. I hope that by sharing the answers to the most common questions that you’ll feel more confident in dealing with your health during this time.
Are you still able to treat at the present time?
The simple answer is yes I am, as currently the area in which I work is not subject to any lockdown restrictions. I am able to treat both in my home clinic – based at 89 Bedingfield Crescent , as well as doing some home visits for those unable to travel to my clinic.
How do you ensure safe working practices are met?
As a registered member of the British Acupuncture Council I follow all recommended safe treatment protocols to ensure that I am able to continue to practice in a safe manner.
In order to minimise transmission of the virus for patients and myself, I ask that you wear an appropriate face covering. Please let me know in advance of a treatment whether you are exempt from wearing one. Throughout treatment I wear a ‘Fluid Resistant Type II face mask’ and I am able to provide all patients with one should they be in need. I ask that you use on entry to my clinic hospital standard sterilising hand gel, which I will provide, and which I also use throughout each treatment.
I only ever see one patient at a time and I schedule all my appointments to ensure that there is a 15 minute gap between patients to enable me to undertake a thorough sanitising clean of all contact points within the treatment room and other areas used by patients – for example the w.c, hallway etc.
Before the first appointment with any new patient I conduct a brief telephone session which includes asking specific questions relating to coronavirus and its symptoms. At your first acupuncture treatment I ask a brief questionnaire (covering coronavirus symptoms and any vulnerable categorisation should this be appliable to you or a member of your household). I also ask that you read and sign a consent form which I keep securely with your patient notes. I also have a QR code on display as part of the NHS Test and Trace scheme which you are most welcome to scan.
If you are currently experiencing, or if within the last 14 days prior to a scheduled appointment with me, have experienced the following symptoms you must not come for treatment please.
- A new continuous cough
- A high temperature
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Please also inform me if you have
- Within the past 14 days travelled by airplane.
- Within the past 14 days have you had close contact with a person who has been confirmed positive or suspected to be positive for COVID-19.
Stay home, stay safe, and know that I’m here for you
During this time that we’re all asked to stay home as much as possible I fully understand and appreciate that some of you may prefer not to come in for acupuncture treatment. Please know that when you feel confident enough to resume treatment I will be delighted to welcome you back and support you in any way that I can.
Stay safe and healthy.