The purpose of this document is to provide information to patients as the clinic begins to return to normal patient numbers. It includes all updated procedures on infection control including use of PPE and increased hygiene practices with the aim of safeguarding both patients and staff. Information is also included to guide 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 through human-to-human contact, although the virus can remain on surfaces for upto 72 hours. An additional method of transmission is via the air and this can last for upto 3 hours. An individual can then become infected by introducing the virus to their mouth, nose or eyes.
Patients who test positive for Covid-19 can present with a variety of symptoms, however it is important to point out 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.
Infection Control Procedures
Prior to attending - We will screen patients 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 - We ask that all patients and practitioners maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene:
Cover nose and mouth with a tissue or elbow when coughing/sneezing
Cleaning hands with alcohol sanitiser or with soap and water prior to entering the clinic space
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - Patients are invited to attend with their own mask. Our practitioners will be using disposable aprons, masks 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 up to 15 mins after a patient leaves the premises to allow time for fresh air circulation and to ensure that there is no crossover of patients. If a patient arrives early for their appointment they will be asked to remain outside/in their car. During this time a dehumidifier will be drawing any airborne droplets from the air, windows will be opened and all commonly touched surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned.