As I prepare to return to work, I want to set out for you all the steps that I have taken to meet the “COVID-19 secure” standard set out by the government.
Before Your Appointment:
Remote consultations: In order to minimise the time that we spend in the treatment room together I will be contacting you by email the day before your appointment to find out how you have been since your last appointment. If you can manage to send me a nice photo of your tongue for diagnostic purposes, that will be very helpful.
Covid-19 consent form: I will also ask you to sign and email back to me a COVID-19 consent form, which includes questions such as whether you have had a fever in the last 7 days and giving your consent to treatment.
Vulnerable and clinically vulnerable patients: If you are classed as “vulnerable” or “clinically vulnerable” (or you live with someone who is) then prior to your appointment we will need to discuss your need for treatment so that I can make a professional clinical judgement as to whether treatment is advisable in your particular circumstances.
On the day of your treatment:
Before you leave your home: Please consider if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you are, then please postpone or cancel your appointment with me and consult NHS111.
At the Surbiton Natural Health Centre: I know that many of you buy items in the SNHC and Waitrose before coming to see me. However, from now on I would ask you to purchase any items after your appointment.
Appointment times and waiting area: The waiting area is closed for the time being and I will be trying to stagger my appointments so that my patients and those of the other therapists do not cross over. Please only enter the shop and walk through to the clinic at your scheduled appointment time.
Hand-washing/sanitising: Please wash your hands on arrival or use hand sanitiser which will be provided. I will be washing my hands very frequently throughout the time that we are together and in line with the advice from my regulatory bodies.
Face-coverings: I would politely ask you to bring your own face covering to wear in the treatment room. I will be wearing a mask and occasionally a visor during the treatment.
In the treatment room: There will be a plastic box in which you can place any items of clothing and personal belongings. I will also do all that I can to enable physical distancing of 2 metres e.g repositioning of your chair and mine. Obviously, I cannot maintain a distance of 2 metres when I am inserting needles, but I will be wearing appropriate PPE at the time. Once your needles are inserted I will leave the room to minimise the amount of time that we spend in the treatment room together.
Cleaning and ventilation: There will be a gap between appointments so that I can clean all surfaces, such as the treatment couch, equipment and door handles and ventilate the room. I have had an extractor fan installed to allow for improved ventilation and have tried to ensure that all surfaces are wipeable.
After your appointment:
Development of symptoms: In the event that you develop symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days after your acupuncture appointment, I would ask you to contact me immediately and follow NHS 111 guidance.
Thank you for your patience with all of these changes and I look forward to seeing you soon.