COVID-19 Safety protocol: Last Updated 10 April 2021
In accordance with government guidelines we remain open for face-to-face work where face-to-face sessions are deemed more beneficial than online work for that client.
This protocol has been designed to keep safe all who use the building. We ask you to abide by it so that everyone who uses the building is kept as safe as possible. Whilst we have taken measures to significantly reduce the risks of contracting/transmitting COVID-19 all parties enter into face-to-face sessions in the knowledge that the risks of infection, whilst reduced, are not eradicated.
We envisage that the re-introduction of all face-to-face sessions will be gradual over the coming weeks and months and at the discretion of each associate and client diad.
We will continue to monitor government advice. We will need to react to fluctuations in local COVID-19 cases so may need to temporarily suspend face-to-face sessions at short notice.
Clients/supervisees: please email your therapist/supervisor prior to resuming face-to-face sessions to confirm you have read and understand our policy. Thank you for your co-operation.
Face coverings will be mandatory for clients/patients/supervisees over the age of 11 unless exempt. We politely request that you wear a face covering on arrival and in shared spaces within the building. Removal once you are seated in your therapy room is at the discretion of both associate and client in accordance with exemption guidelines only.
Exemptions include (but not limited to):
- children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
If you are exempt from wearing a cloth face covering we ask that, where possible, you wear a face shield/visor instead. Given that the visor protects the wearer and the face covering protects ‘the other’ we ask that, for the safety of all parties, you have an open discussion about this as you meet.
Please be mindful and respectful of exemption circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
Hygiene protocol 1: Associates only
All associates working online from the building take responsibility for wiping the desk, door handles, light switches, signs, taps and any other surfaces they have come into contact with BEFORE and AFTER you start your block of sessions
Hygiene protocol 2: Associates and Clients
All associates working face-to-face with clients take responsibility for wiping the desk, door handles, light switches, signs, taps and any other surfaces they have come into contact with BEFORE and AFTER you start your block of sessions. Wipe front door handles on arrival and departure. Please provide your own pack of wipes and sanitiser so we reduce potential areas of contamination
Associates will open doors for clients (same protocol for individual and couples+ and the assumption is the couple are living in the same house: couples+ not living in same house are asked to remain online for the time being) so clients do not need to touch anything and maintain social distancing measures whilst you do it:
a) Clients will step back at least 2 metres from the door once they have texted the associate to signal their arrival (rather than ringing the doorbell). Should the client forget and ring the doorbell, please sanitise it.
b) Associates will open the front door fully and step back to allow the client to cross the threshold safely, then wipe the door handles as door is closed.
c) The clinic door will already be open, and the client is to walk directly into the clinic (without touching anything) and sit in the client chair (associates: please let new clients know in advance which seat to use).
d) Clients are invited to bring their own hand sanitiser to use upon seating if they wish.
e) Associates will wait for the client to be seated, will then enter the room and also sit down, using their own hand sanitiser if desired
f) Associates, please ensure the tissue boxes have the next tissue ready to extract and do your best so that the client does not need to touch the tissue box. If they do need to touch it, please wipe after use along with other surfaces.
The rooms have been re-designed with COVID safety in mind. Please do not move the chairs closer together. Silver tape squares have been placed next to all of the chair legs to indicate the 2 meter distance. If, for any reason, you feel the need to move the chairs, please ensure that at least 2 meter distance is maintained. If at all possible, do not move the chairs as they cannot be wiped down afterwards. Couch roll has been provided in each room and will be replaced following each face-to-face session. (Associate, please fold used side in on itself and place in regular recycling bin.)
Our QR code is provided on our hall table for anyone wishing to use it.
Signs of illness
Should associates or clients show any signs of colds, coughs, flu, sore throat, COVID-19, we ask that the session/s are moved online/phone for 10 days. Also, if either party have knowingly been in the presence of someone with symptoms or needing to isolate we ask that you revert to online/phone sessions for 10 days. All will need to follow the current guidelines for getting tested and provide details for Track & Trace.
Each party holds an obligation to be aware of and report to the other, any factors which may occur which could increase the risk of infection/transmission during the face-to-face sessions. Prior to each meeting, both associate/client will be self-assessed as to whether they have adhered to the current guidelines within the last 10 days and/or whether the client’s job (e.g. key worker) generates a greater risk to the associate/practice. Prior to each session we ask of each of you: Have your circumstances enabled you to adhere to the current government guidelines within the last 10 days?
We need to keep everyone in the building safe. Should your circumstances not have allowed this we will be happy to meet with you online.
Lateral Flow Tests
We invite all associates and visitors to the practice, where possible, to engage in regular lateral flow testing to ensure that face-to-face sessions bring as little risk of infection as possible. Where your place of work does not supply tests they can be carried out at one of the tests centres (no appointment required) or posted directly to you for home assessment.
We invite all associates and visitors to the practice, where possible, to engage in the vaccination process.
To ensure your safety we are accepting online payments only; no cash will be accepted at the practice.
Water jugs and glasses have been temporarily removed from the rooms. Associates and clients: Please bring your own water bottles/flasks.
Should associate or client use the toilet: After using the toilet and washing your hands: open the door, take a surface wipe and clean, in this order, light switch, the door handle, tap, toilet seat, toilet handle and place the wipe in the bin. Then use your elbow/foot to open the door far enough for you to get out. Leave the door open.
We thank you for helping us to keep everyone as safe as possible during these difficult times.