Covid – 19 Safeguarding Policy
The purpose of this document is to provide information to patients as the resumes with face to face consultations again. It covers all updated procedures on infection control including the use of PPE and increased hygiene practices with the aim of safeguarding patients, practitioners and staff. There is information included to guide the patients on what they can do before and after their visit to ensure a low rate of potential viral transmission. Our hope is that this information will reassure patients who are considering attending for treatment that we are taking the current situation seriously and that patient safety is our highest concern.
Background to the COVID – 19 Pandemic
It is currently understood that Covid-19 spreads mainly through the respiratory tract in the form of droplets. The most common form of spread is personal contact, although the virus can remain on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Another possibility is transmission via the air and this can last for up to 3 hours in unventilated indoor spaces. An individual can then become infected by introducing the virus to their mouth, nose or eyes. It is important to remember that the evidence suggests a person can be contagious for 2-3 days prior to the onset of symptoms. The majority of symptomatic people experience a mild to moderate respiratory illness associated with common symptoms such as fever, cough and fatigue. High risk groups includes those over the age of 65 or suffering from serious underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, immunocompromised individuals or those undergoing cancer treatment.
Infection Control Procedures
Prior to attending – We will screen patients by phone to determine if they have any symptoms or whether they have come into contact with any confirmed cases within the last 14 days. It is important to assess whether the individual attending is personally in the high risk category (65yrs+, immune compromised, significant heart/respiratory/kidney/liver disease) or whether they care for a high risk individual. In which case attending may be less advisable and we can arrange a remote consultation.
Standard precautions for all patients –
- When entering the building everyone will be asked to wipe their shoes on the sanitser mat provided.
- Temperature will be taken.
- Cleaning hands with alcohol sanitiser or with soap and water when entering and leaving the clinic space is expected.
- Patients are invited to attend with their own mask if they wish, if they can’t obtain one, the practice will provide a mask, which needs to be worn while in the building.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for practitioners
Our practitioners will be using PPE equipment according to government advice which currently is disposable aprons, masks or visors, and gloves where necessary, which will be disposed of immediately after treatment, in line with the guidelines.
Clinic room cleaning
There will be a period of at least 20mins after a patient leaves the premises to allow time for fresh air circulation and to ensure that there is no crossover of patients. During this time windows will be opened and all commonly touched surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned.
To avoid crowding in the waiting room, patients are asked to only arrive 5 minutes before their appointment. Should they arrive much earlier, they might be instructed to wait in the car or outside the building.
Further, only the patient is to be present at the clinic without accompanying others, unless they are a child or have a disability that requires a parent, carer or guardian, who needs to be screened first and needs to be free of any signs or symptoms. Each accompanying person needs to provide contact details and will be informed that these details might be used for contact tracing if required.
After each card payment the card machine will be cleaned by the receptionist.
If a form needs to be filled out the clip board and the pen will be cleaned prior.
We ask patients to be respectful to the reception staff and keep to the 2 meter distancing rule.