How will Covid 19 change the way we work at Ombersley Physiotherapy?
The health of our patients and our own families is paramount so many changes have been made to the way physiotherapy appointments are conducted. We have made all the changes in line with guidance from our professional body (The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), Public Health England and also the GP surgery that we are situated within.
To help us manage with the extra ‘paperwork’ involved we have also moved away from paper format and onto a computerised practise management system. This enables us to send out and receive the relevant screening forms prior to any treatment as well as bringing us into the 21st Century with online bookings, smoother invoicing and appointment reminders. It will also help us to keep you better informed about changes to procedures in the clinic because I’m sure that we will need to take extra precautions due to Covid-19 for a prolonged period of time.
This is totally new to us too and I’m sure will take a bit of getting used to for both patients and therapists!
How to book an appointment
In the past all bookings have gone through the GP receptionists, but now we need to book our own appointments to ensure that we fulfil the government and our professional bodies recommendations of pre-screening.
- If you need an appointment call Moira, Penni or Jackie directly
(please leave a message if we can’t get to the phone)
- When we speak to you we will have a chat about your problem to check that face to face physio is necessary and also to check that you have not had any symptoms of Covid-19.
- If we make a joint decision to go ahead with a face to face appointment, we will book this over the phone and send you an e-mail to our new computer management system (Jane).
- You should receive a welcome e-mail to Jane. Please set up an account (it requires 2 step authentication). There will also be a one off registration form to fill out with basic details.
- 2 days before your appointment you should receive a reminder e-mail from us and also a Covid-19 screening questionnaire.
I’m afraid that you must fill this out or we will not be able to see you.
(If you are having problems with the forms please call us – they are necessary, otherwise we wouldn’t be sending them!)
- If you or any one in your household has developed symptoms between filling in the forms and your appointment you must contact us to cancel your appointment.
What happens when you arrive for an appointment?
- To enter the building you will need to press the doorbell for the GP receptionists to let you in. The GP surgery also has a policy that you need to wear a mask or face covering to enter the building. Please attend alone if possible to minimise the footfall through the GP surgery.
- Please sanitise your hands with the alcohol gel provided and come straight upstairs to the physio waiting area that you will have to your self.
- When your physio is ready they will open the door and call you in.
- Please do not arrive more that 5 mins early (we have a lot of cleaning and extra paper work to complete between patients).
- Your physio will be wearing a disposable apron, medical grade 2R surgical mask, disposable gloves and possibly a face shield. This is all to protect you and we kindly ask that you wear your face covering or mask to help protect us too.
- If you wish to bring your own pillowcase you are welcome to do so, otherwise the wipe clean pillow will be covered with paper bed roll. You may also bring your own towel to the appointment to use as a blanket if you feel the cold.
- Throughout your appointment your therapist will discuss what they plan to do and ensure that you are comfortable with any treatments suggested.
- Please try and use the toilet before you leave your house to minimise the use of the toilet facilities at clinic. This is because we already have an extensive list of items to clean between appointments. If you do use the toilet, please let us know so we can ensure that we clean all areas touched prior to the next patient arriving.
Pre-screening for physiotherapy appointments
Before any face to face appointment can take place, we are obliged to screen patients to check that infection risks are minimised and that the contact is considered essential.
In practise, this means that all patients need to fill out a questionnaire before attending an appointment. This is to check that no one (or anyone in their household) has had any symptoms of Covid-19 or been in an at-risk environment in the previous 2 weeks.
We will not be able to see anyone with any recent Covid-19 symptoms to minimise the risk to ourselves and other patients.
Screening is also to protect our patients by highlighting people who are at the highest risk of catching the virus to enable informed decision making. If a patient is in a higher risk category we will need to decide if a face to face appointment is right for them and if so, minimise risk by putting them first on any clinic list.
Our professional body also require us to talk to you / screen remotely first to ascertain that your issue cannot be dealt with effectively online and that the risks of going to physio are outweighed by the benefits. For this reason all bookings will have to be made through your physio at the moment and the GP staff will not be able to book physio appointments.
What will we be doing to reduce the infection risk in the clinic?
We will be wearing single use gloves, single use aprons and sessional high-grade medical face masks (F2 certified). If our risk assessment highlights the need, we may also wear a face shield.
We will be changing into and out of our uniform in the clinic room and washing it separately at a hight temperature.
- Hand washing
As always, we will be washing our hands and arms thoroughly before and after each patient contact.
- Alcohol gel
We have always used alcohol gel as well as handwashing and will ensure that this is available to patients to use before and after appointments as well.
- Air circulation
When possible the windows will be open to allow for the best air circulation.
- Appointment spacing
We will allow at least 20-30 min space between all patient contacts. This will enable us to thoroughly clean all surfaces and allow for air circulation between patients. It should also minimise the risk of meeting anyone else in the waiting area.
At the beginning and end of the day, as well as between every appointment we will clean all surfaces that might be touched. This will include the bed, pillows, chairs, desk, door handles, taps, card machine and any equipment used. We will also be using waterproof, wipeable pillows which might be slightly less comfortable but more hygienic.
- Appointment length & cost
We have made the decision to offer longer appointments. This is because for every appointment we book at the moment we will be spending almost the same time behind the scenes on the necessary extra paperwork, screening checks and cleaning to ensure everyone’s safety. We are also aware that many patients will need a bit longer with us because of the treatments missed over lock down.
We know that we often run over time and tend to give people longer than their appointment time running through our lunch and admin time; however we are going to have be much better time keepers because running over now would compromise on cleaning and room ventilation time which can not happen. We also hope that by offering longer, thorough appointments that it will minimise the number of sessions / contacts people need and hence lower the risks associated.
Our previous appointments are still available, with the only change being an additional £2 added to help go towards new PPE, cleaning and software costs.
New special – 1 hour appointments – £60
Previous ‘new patient’ (or longer return) appointments – 45 mins – £52
Previous ‘follow up appointments’ – 30 mins – £47
We can still take payment by cash or cheque, however we are trying to move towards more digital payments using card when possible.
Card payments can be processed in 2 different ways depending on what you prefer.
1- Using ‘sum up’ – you will need to insert your card into a card reader and enter your pin number each time.
2 – Using ‘stripe’ though our practice management software. Our software only stores the last 4 digits of your card number and expiry date and then securely links to a payment processor using the same encryption as the major world banks to enable your card details to be stored securely and payment done in a click.
If you have any questions or concerns about the above, please contact us and have a chat.
More details on our cleaning policy and covid-19 operating procedures can be found in the polices section of this website under resources, or click here.
We are also still here on the phone if you need us for advice, and although we are not routinely doing video consultations, this can be arranged if you feel it would benefit you.
E-mail – [email protected]
Moira – 07846 451 442
Penni – 07795 072 313
Jackie – 07710 232 382