Embody Health Ltd COVID-19 Policy

(updated 1st October 2020)

Following the advice of our professional body and regulator, we can confirm that Embody Health Ltd is currently OPEN.

Our current Covid-19 policy is based on guidelines developed by Public Health England (PHE) for health care practitioners and clinics working in the NHS and in private practice. Interpretation of this guidance and updates are made available to us via our professional body (Institute of Osteopathy) and our regulator (GOsC).

PHE guidance during the current Covid-19 pandemic for healthcare professionals regarding infection control and clinical best practice can be found here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/infection-control/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus


Guidance from GOsc can be found here:

https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/standards/guidance-for-osteopaths/coronavirus-covid-19/

Guidance from the Institute of Osteopathy can be found here:

https://www.iosteopathy.org/covid-19/

Osteopaths are currently permitted to open up their clinics for face to face / in person consultations for patients who:

  • are not considered clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19..
  • are not a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
  • are not self-isolating due to exposure to someone who has tested positive.
  • have not been requested to quarantine e.g. due to travel from a country not part of the current UK travel corridor.

An osteopathic consultation is a close contact service and requires the osteopath and patient coming closer than two metres, so we need to discuss the risks and benefits of a face-to-face consultation before we book an appointment.

Patients are contacted first by the osteopath introducing themselves and giving the patient their regulatory information so as to identify the osteopath as being a regulated health professional. 

This information can be found here:

https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/register-search/registrants/9361-mr-brian-swanton/

Once this is established the osteopath sends information to the patient regarding who is most at risk from contracting Covid-19. This is based on NHS guidance as follows:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/

It is established if the patient is clinically extremely vulnerable, clinically moderately vulnerable or not clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 according to the NHS guidance.

We cannot see clinically extremely vulnerable patients in person / face to face at this time. We can offer remote consultations via video conferencing, by phone and/or referral to NHS services if appropriate. Please inform us if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, live with someone who is or if you have been advised to ‘shield’.

If you are a moderately vulnerable patient, or live with someone who is, we would recommend that the patient makes their own decision regarding the risks and benefits of a face to face appointment. A remote consultation is offered if a face to face appointment is not requested.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, or any acute infection, you cannot be treated in the clinic at the present time.

Covid -19 symptoms can include:

  • A new fever.
  • A new persistent dry cough.
  • A loss or change in smell or taste.
  • If you have these symptoms you will need to be tested and to self-isolate.

Please contact NHS 119 or via this link:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Access to testing is being regularly updated so please check via the website or by ringing 119 for more advice.

If you need immediate information about your symptoms you should ring the NHS 111. This is related to symptoms that are persisting and new symptoms developing e.g. shortness of breath and chest pain. These symptoms may require immediate medical attention.

The UK government have been conducting track and tracing of contacts related to positive Covid-19 cases. In September 2020 they released the NHS Track and Trace App which allows people to be updated and notified if they came into contact with a confirmed positive case and may have been exposed to the Sars-Cov-2 virus. If you receive any notification from any of these sources, or another source (e.g. a doctor or employer), and are required to self-isolate please inform us if you have an appointment and we can cancel it for you at no charge.

Osteopaths are currently following guidance from the Institute of Osteopathy that PHE does not require osteopaths to self-isolate if exposed to a positive Covid-19 case at work if infection control procedures are in place and that PPE was being used to mitigate risk of infection (September 2020). If you are asked to give the contact details for Embody Health Ltd to NHS Track and Trace you must state this contact is in a healthcare context. This specific guidance is only related to exposure in the workplace and not in a social context.

Travel Corridors are regularly updated by the UK government. Please review their guidance here if you have travelled recently from a country and are unsure if you need to quarantine. There are exemptions if you were in transit through a country that is not on the travel corridor and you did not leave your mode of transport or mix with people in that country.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

We will also explain our infection control policy, which includes PPE and other changes to the way we work to ensure that you do not have contact with anyone in the clinic except your osteopath. This will help you to make an informed decision about coming to see us in the clinic.

Osteopaths at Embody Health Ltd have to wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (type IIR or above) during their entire session in the clinic. Aprons are worn for each patient and surgical gloves are used during treatment. We request all patients wear a face covering. These can be provided by the clinic (a new 3-ply face mask). A plastic face shield / plastic eye goggles are used by the osteopath if an oral exam or intraoral treatment is being performed, or if the patient cannot use a mask (guidance updated September 2020 from the Institute of Osteopathy). Surgical glove use will continue as part of current PPE as osteopaths deal with body fluids (updated September 2020 by PHE and Institute of Osteopathy).

Embody Health Ltd is using a PPE provider recommended by the Institute of Osteopathy that has certificates of conformity for all PPE products used and are compliant with PHE regulations.

We send this brief video to all patients who are booked in prior to their appointment. It is made by the Institute of Osteopathy and outlines changes to appointments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1K2m3bwL7g&t=8s

On the day of the appointment patients are pre-screened and are asked if they:

  • Have any Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Have been exposed to the Sars-Cov-2 virus.
  • Have been asked to self-isolate for any reason.
  • If they are required to quarantine under current UK law.

On arrival patients are requested to come at the time of their appointment and wait outside the clinic. The osteopath will come to the door in PPE and give the patient hand sanitizer and a face mask to wear. They are brought into the clinic room. Both the patient and the osteopath have their temperature read using an infrared thermometer.

The patient is requested to click on the QR code for the NHS Track and Trace App if they have it. Surgical gloves are used when in contact with the patient and hand sanitizer is used on the gloves to make them hygienic.

Hygiene and infection control procedures at Embody Health Ltd

We are constantly reviewing our practice hygiene policy based on the most recent Public Health England (PHE) advice, so this may change.

We are following GOsC and the Institute of Osteopathy recommendations to help limit person-to-person transmission in healthcare settings. We have QR codes in the clinic to aid the NHS Track and Trace app that was set up in September 2020. We advise you to check in on arrival if you have the app.

Osteopaths use manual techniques and wash their hands prior to and after treatment. Increased hand washing is required prior to application of surgical gloves or if the osteopath touches a new surface that may be unsanitary / in a communal space. Hand sanitizer is available for use in the clinic room and in communal spaces.

We will be disinfecting surfaces and commonly touched areas by users of the clinic between each patient. Treatment tables, pillows (covered in plastic covering) and chairs will be disinfected between each patient. We are no longer using couch covers or providing towels at Embody Health Ltd for patients at this time. If you need to bring your own towel you may do so. We can offer plastic aprons / surgical gown if you need one.

The clinic is being cleaned regularly by the London Natural Health Centre and they deal with the safe removal of PPE. Embody Health Ltd has been in close contact with the London Natural Health Centre to comply with their guidelines. They are currently making sure that their clinic rooms are not booked back to back so there are time spaces between practitioners and that PPE usage and infection control procedures are enforced.

To increase air circulation and ventilation in the clinic we have a policy to have the window open at all times, using a fan and / or central heating to increase the convection current in the room and opening the individual clinic door between patients to aid movement of air.

We currently do not need to have fallow periods between patients since August 2020 following guidance from the Institute of Osteopathy. The osteopath may still use fallow periods between patients at their clinical discretion (e.g. if a patient cannot use a face mask).

You are still able to bring a chaperone to the clinic if you so wish. They too will be screened in terms of clinical vulnerabilities to Covid-19 and the risk to themselves by visiting the clinic as a chaperone. They will have to follow the same procedures as the patient regarding infection control in place in the clinic.

If a patient develops any symptoms of ANY acute infection prior to their appointment they are asked not to come into the clinic. If a patient develops any symptoms of Covid-19 whilst in the clinic the appointment will be terminated and the patient asked to self-isolate as per instructions by PHE. Embody Health Ltd will close for that session / day until further guidance given from their professional body. They will contact the owner of the clinic venue at the London Natural Health Centre immediately. The London Natural Health Centre is responsible for any deep cleaning of the clinic and to inform other practitioners in the venue of any risk to themselves or their patients. Any risk to patients of exposure to Covid-19 whilst in the clinic is mitigated by the infection control procedures in place as outlined in this policy.

This policy is meant to provide evidence and information regarding Covid-19 to patients and to explain to patients how we have mitigated the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in the clinic based on best evidence available at the time given to us by PHE and by our professional body and regulator.

With the precautions we have put in place we believe there is a low risk of Covid-19 transmission within the clinic. However, we ask patients to be mindful that other health professionals work from the London Natural Health Centre (46 Theobalds Road and clinic rooms at Imex House, 42 Theobalds Road) and are following their own guidelines from their professional bodies. These may slightly differ from those Embody Health Ltd is following from the Institute of Osteopathy and GOsC (e.g. usage of PPE).

Please be aware that at Imex House, 42 Theobalds Road there are offices in the building that are used by non-health related businesses and are not governed by a regulatory health body. These businesses use communal areas and facilities in the building (e.g. entrance hallway, toilets).

Currently there is no receptionist in either venue. In both venues the reception area and waiting rooms are closed and must not be used by patients or practitioners.

If you would like to book an appointment

  • You need to speak to an osteopath before you can book an appointment. To help us manage this contact [email protected] or call 07855311971.
  • Please give a brief summary of your reason to attend and a contact telephone number so that we can call you back.

If you are attending an appointment

  • You must read our up-to-date hygiene policy.
  • You should arrive on time and ring the osteopath. You will only be allowed into the building at the time of your appointment by the osteopath themselves, to enable distancing from other patients and to give you hand sanitizer and a new 3-ply face mask.
  • You will be screened at the door for any new acute symptoms of infection.

The osteopath at Embody Health Ltd uses public transport to travel to the clinic. During lockdown the osteopath at Embody Health Ltd was in shielding for 12 weeks and is currently in a very small social bubble (September 2020) due to a member of their household being clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. They will follow the current guidelines from PHE if they are asked to self-isolate or become symptomatic for Covid-19. This means that even if we offer you an appointment, we may need to rearrange it if your osteopath is unable to come in. If your osteopath becomes unavailable, we will try to offer you an appointment with another osteopath as soon as possible.

If you have an appointment confirmed it will be scheduled to minimise the likelihood of meeting another person in the building. Please arrive on time. Your osteopath will end the consultation promptly to help you leave the clinic before the next patient arrives and to enable us to sanitise the clinic room.

All payments will be using our card machines which are cleaned regularly.

Thank you for your consideration in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

If you have any questions or concerns please send us an email: [email protected]