FLOORING AND CARPETED AREAS
If you are clearing cushions and covering upholstered furniture with couch roll – the carpeted areas will require the same clinical approach.
We suggest you take up all rugs and lay either of the following mobile flooring on fixed carpets. This would be for walk in and the changing area. Anywhere a client might step.
- Black rubber matting: www.floormats.co.uk/circular-studded-rubber-matting
- Clear plastic runners: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076M65PHW
ISSUES AROUND PPE
There are so many questions here – and everyone has their own interpretation. But we need to look at the bigger picture. Yes, it is a nuisance to wear PPE, but we are in the middle of a pandemic and whether we like it or not, safety is paramount.
The government guidelines are a minimum standard and if used, will be consistent with your insurance companies’ requirements. GCMT’s recommendation – based on the current usage for osteopaths – is to wear full PPE for vulnerable clients or practitioners. This ensures as much safety as possible for you and for your clients, and to reassure clients who may be uncertain for their safety. This means gloves, apron, visor – and mask. Use your common sense and consider the risk the client poses, or risks the practitioner pose for that client.
You are required to wear a visor, plus a mask as well if you wish. Your client can choose whether to wear a mask or not. Please note that from 23rd July, wearing a mask is “strongly recommended” for the client.
With aprons and clothing there are several variations you can try. Ideally an apron per client, then it’s easy. If you have very few clients, fresh clothing per client is OK – but you must be able to take the top off without pulling it over your head and touching your face, arms & hair in the process. Most recommended clothing is button up shirts/t-shirts – as long as they are short sleeved.
With gloves, again, there is concern that wearing them will compromise the massage. On the contrary, gloves these days are surprisingly sensitive, and you can feel everything through them. The client will have almost no awareness – or none – that you’re wearing gloves. You just need enough oil to stop friction. Yes, repeated hand washing is vital – especially right up to the elbows – but stick with the gloves whatever.
TRACK & TRACING
- Businesses, including mobile therapists, have to download the NHS Track and Trace app and print out and display a QR code.
- Communicate this with your clients and remind them to scan the QR code if they have downloaded the NHS Track and Trace app into their phones.
As we are working on a one to one basis, your diary or appointment calendar will be also listing the people who have come to see you or who you are seeing. There may be doubling up of some of the information, for example via the client declaration forms. Clients’ name and contact details collected through manual manual track and trace systems (e.g. the client declaration forms) should be kept for 3 weeks.
This is moot. Ideally your clients should be responsible for their own temperature taking, and you can provide a chart for them to complete. As in many pubs now, you can take their temperature on arrival. Government guidance does not insist on temperature taking, so use common sense and do what is right for your own risk assessment.
As we can’t diagnose, we can only show whether there is fever or not. This is very much up to you how far you wish to go.
- I work in a care home & I have been asked by the management to massage the patients. They say I am covered by the care home insurance.
Look for alternative methods with a similar outcome. It is unlikely you will be doing much other than hands and feet. Holds can be equally as effective. No facial work.
- Should I take a course?
It is a recommendation and worth doing. They will cover not only cleaning substances and cleaning protocols, but also how put on and take off PPE properly.
There are many on-line courses ranging in price from £10 to £25. The one below is free.
The questions in the consent forms in this document are all suggestions – with the exception of the final clause where you sign, which is a legal must. You can add or subtract as you wish. These are additional questions.
- Can we create a combined consent form that both client & therapist sign? Yes of course
- Do we complete a new consent form for every client visit? Yes, or adapt the form so they sign it each time.
WORKING FROM HOME
Complete a risk assessment, looking at areas the client will pass through, and the room used. Respond to those risks by following the government guidelines. You need to ensure that you have all risks covered if you work from home. Abide by government guidelines regarding visitors to your house. And make sure your insurer knows you are back to work.
HOME AND MOBILE VISITS
Perform a full risk assessment, and abide by the government guidelines
MANAGING SESSION TIMINGS AND COSTS
- I have bought lots of PPE and other items. Should I charge more – build it into my session fees?
- How to I budget for the pe-session consultations?
- Do I give a 45-minute massage if I have done a 15-minute consultation on-line previously?
- Should I give a shorter massage for safety reasons?
All these choices are up to you. What you feel comfortable doing, and whether your clients will react positively.
It has been recommended that should a client cancel at the last minute, as they might have Covid-19 symptoms, you don’t charge a cancellation fee.
- Are there any specific or additional guidelines?
No. If you wear full PPE and are diligent with your cleansing protocol, you have the same level of protection as everyone else.
- Tea tree – is it safe to use?
Stick to government guidelines regarding sanitisers
- Do we have to use bleach? I can’t stand the smell
Use appropriate sanitisers that are effective against coronavirus
- Can I cleanse the air and space with frankincense…?
Ventilation is the best way to clean the air of the clinic space. Open a window/door.
Email and GDPR (MTI member forum 20th July):
Email and GDPR – if you are sending client information over email, here’s what you need to know:
- If you are seeing an existing client you already have their details, so would only need for them to complete the Covid-19 form over the phone and you don’t need to add any identifying information to the form you send them.
- If a new client, then you’d need all new paperwork – but you can ask for their contact details over the phone so no identifying data needs be on any forms. You can use their initials on the consultation form for example.
- Ideally the consultation is face to face on Zoom, or via phone. You ask the questions as if you were in a room together and write in the answers, without the client even seeing the documents. Then when the client comes, they sign & date, using their own pen.
- You can certainly send documents for a client to look at before the consultation. If they want to fill in bits, make sure they don’t put their contact details on the form.
- If you do send documents with identifying info, ask clients to save the documents into a secure folder (so on a password protected desktop or cloud system) – so they’re data protected – then ask them to delete the attachments from emails.
- You can also encrypt your emails and send an encryption key to your client in another way, eg by text. Here’s how it’s done on Microsoft Office, search for ‘encrypt email’ plus your email provider name to get details for your system.