We are very much still offering online consultations, especially for those who have symptoms of Covid-19, are in higher risk categories, are unable to travel to the clinic, or would simply rather be seen in the comfort of their own homes, but...
We have been closely following updates from the The Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, The Health and Care Professions Council (the regulator for physios), The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (our governing body/union), and Physio First (the professional body for private physiotherapists).
We've completed a thorough risk assessment of our clinic space, waiting area, toilets and courtyard. Here's what's changed:
Before attending your appointment you'll be asked to complete a screening and consent form, so that we can gain more insight into your current state of health, especially regarding Covid-19, and make you aware of any associated risks
When you arrive you'll be asked to wash your hands (in the bathroom) or use hand gel (in clinic)
We are unable to open the waiting area due to the risk of infection. Therefore, we would simply recommend arriving at the time of you appointment in order to limit time spent waiting around outside.
For the same reasons, unfortunately, you will not be able to use the toilet facilities either, so please do bear this in mind before leaving your house.
It is currently essential that you wear a face mask at all times during your appointment.
Your therapist will also be wearing PPI, including face mask, gloves and apron.
We are leaving a 15-30 minute gap between appointments to allow for social distancing and thorough cleaning. This means that we will need to be fairly strict with time-keeping.
We would really encourage you to discuss any concerns or further questions you might have on this subject with Eve or myself before coming along for your session.
It goes without saying that the pandemic has forced a shift in the way we all go about our lives. At Ashton Physiotherapy it has meant switching to online consultations. This has been a big learning curve but has led to many new oportunities. For example we now have clients in Brighton, London, and Edinburgh!
We have also found very few restrictions in being able to help our clients via virtual sessions. Most of the assessment and diagnosis in a physiotherapy session actually takes place during the conversation at the start anyway, and so we have been able to offer everyone a thorough assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.
Feedback from patients has been that they've gained a new sense of empowerment and control over their bodies, through having the opportunity to change their own pain with guidance and suggestion, rather than feeling that they might always need manual treatment. I've found that the online consultations seem to provide more time to dig deeply into the background behind a person's ongoing issues, explore compounding factors, and openly discuss the best way forward. I've enjoyed the challenge of trying to teach clients to test and treat themselves, the rare opportunity to see people in their natural habitats, and the occasional cup of tea just off camera!
To those of you who I have seen online thus far... Thanks for allowing me into your homes and for being open to new ways of doing things!