CLINIC ATTENDANCE PROTOCOL
Check if you should plan to attend
- You should not plan to attend the clinic if you are required to self-isolate after testing positive for covid-19. please check the latest government guidance for information about isolation periods
- You should not plan to attend the clinic if you are required to self-isolate after having have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive.
- If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive within the last 10 days you may not be required to self-isolate. However we ask that, out of courtesy, you please inform the Clinical Director in order that you can consider together whether the appointment should go ahead and/or who else should be consulted.
- If you are over 70, have a long-term condition, are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, please refer to medical advice.
Before You Leave Home
- Carry out a lateral flow test. Do not attend the clinic if it is positive.
- Check for symptoms and do not attend clinic if you have any of the following symptoms (even if you are testing negative): a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back , a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual), a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
- Check your temperature. You should not plan to attend the clinic if you have a temperature of 37.8C or higher even if you are testing negative on a lateral flow test.
- If you do not yet have it, please download the NHS Covid-19/Protect Scotland app to your phone to enable contact tracing and (England only) QR scanning.
- Ensure you leave home with enough clothing to keep warm bearing in mind that windows will be opened in the clinic to allow for ventilation.
- Bring your own drinks and food in suitable containers which do not require you to refrigerate them (and please take any bottles/ boxes/ rubbish home with you afterwards).
- Use the toilet before you leave home in order to minimise using the toilet facilities in the clinic.
- Bring a face covering*.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before attending the clinic and when arriving home.
- Avoid attending the clinic by public transport if possible- please ask the Clinical Director if you need alternative provisions to enable walking, running or cycling to work (e.g. storage).
- (As a general measure to help prevent spread of the virus, please consider accessing regular NHS coronavirus tests from your local testing site. We recommend that you access two tests per week. You do not need to have symptoms of coronavirus to access free tests).
*some exemptions apply to the wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces and the guidance relating to children varies between UK countries. Clinicians should please ensure that there in a shared agreement between themselves and their clients if exemptions are to be applied. See Government Guidance on Face Coverings.
Arriving at clinic
- Arrive at the entrance already wearing your own face covering (remember, always wash your hands before or after applying a face covering).
- If you have the NHS app, scan the QR code displayed at the entrance to the clinic (England only).
- Use hand sanitiser upon entry to the clinic and upon exit.
Inside the clinic (general)
- Maintain a 2 metre distance from other people at all times where possible i.e. on arrival, when circulating the building and when seated in a clinic room. Where it is not possible to maintain a 2 metre distance e.g. during the administration of specialist psychology tests, additional measures need to be put in place to reduce risk e.g. reducing the amount of time spent in close contact, minimising the number of persons present, ventilating the room by opening windows, sitting alongside instead of face to face, and sanitising materials used (use of screens can also be considered). In each of these circumstances, clinicians need to please take responsibility for risk assessing the activity in advance, for making a plan for the mitigating measures, and for communicating these measures to the client. The client should be in clear agreement with these measures before the appointment takes place.
- Wear a mask at all times when circulating the building (including in bathrooms) and when talking with other workers in their offices. Any extended meetings must take place via telephone or video calls.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid touching any part of your face.
- If you use the toilet facilities, please wash your hands with soap and water if you do so (for at least 20 seconds) and adhere to any other infection control guidance displayed in the toilet facilities.
- Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces.
- Consider minimising taking breaks away from the clinic environment during a working day to minimise social contact outside of the clinic.
- Clinicians may be required to take clients’ temperatures using in-fared thermometers on arrival (local variations apply- please confirm with the Clinical Director).
- Open windows during every session, if appropriate & safe to do so, to keep good ventilation within the rooms.
- Clinicians to please fulfill ‘hosting’ and ‘clean as you use’ responsibilities (see below).
- Do not exchange objects with other people whilst at clinic e.g. pens/pencils unless a plan (agreed between yourselves) is in place for how the risk has been mitigated.
- Consider the use of PPF2 masks during sessions which may offer better protection than standard face coverings.
When leaving the clinic
- Use hand sanitiser on your way out.
- Wash your hand when you arrive home.
To reduce the number of personnel and social contact on site, administrative staff may be present less often and, where present, will be encouraged to remain in their offices. Clinicians are therefore asked to please take on ‘hosting responsibilities’ for clients (in line with government guidance). Clients will receive full guidance about attendance to clinic. However, clinicians, as ‘hosts’ are also asked to please:
- monitor/ facilitate clients’ arrival into the clinic where necessary (local variations will apply);
- remind clients/visitors to not bring unnecessary chaperones to appointments;
- remind clients to wait outside prior to their appointment and enter the clinic when called or collected (local variations apply) – waiting rooms will be closed and reading materials/hot drinks unfortunately cannot be supplied;
- remind clients of the guidance around not attending clinic if they suspect symptoms (client or family member);
- remind clients to adhere to social distancing rules whilst at clinic;
- clearly record in the session notes who has attended the clinic, including any chaperone (in case any contact tracing is required).
‘Clean as you Use’ responsibilities
Clinicians are asked to please implement a ‘clean as you use’ policy for clinic rooms (in line with government guidance). This will simply involve clinicians taking five minutes before and after seeing each client to wipe down surfaces (paying particular attention to door handles on the clinic room door and desks). Wipes/sanitiser will be provided in the rooms. Whilst regular cleaning of the building will be taking place, a ‘clean as you use’ policy for clinic rooms is essential in helping everyone feel reassured that areas are clean and risks are minimised. Thank you kindly for assisting in this.
- Clinicians will see less of our administrative staff at our clinics than during ‘normal’ times – an arrangement put in place to keep social contact minimal. However, our friendly administrative staff would love to help with any queries clinicians may have so please feel free to give them a call!
- Please inform us immediately if you experience symptoms of Covid-19 which have developed within 10 days after working at one of our clinics.
Managing Client Cancellations
Clients will periodically receive clinic updates via emails and text messages.
If clients cancel due to concerns about coronavirus, late cancellation fees will not apply.
If you are Unable to Work
Unfortunately, self-employed Clinical Associates who are not able to work, or receive cancellations due to Coronavirus, cannot be remunerated by Purple House.
Specific Responsibilities for Self-employed Associates
Due to their self-employed status, Associates carry some specific responsibilities in respect to the coronavirus risk:
- To take overall responsibility for the assessment and management of their own health and safety at work relating to coronavirus and to stay up-to-date with any WHO, NHS or Government guidance issued.
- To conduct their own risk assessments relating to covid-19 and implement any actions required arising from own risk assessments, paying particular attention to clinical activities where social distancing cannot be maintained and social distancing cannot be avoided.
- To communicate any concerns they have about Purple House’s approach to covid-19, or discrepancies with their own assessment/management of covid-19 to the Clinical Director.
- To purchase any equipment or materials they deem necessary in relation to safe working and the risk of covid-19 (e.g. portable hand sanitisers, face coverings, video call software).
- To liaise directly with clients to make any necessary arrangements regarding the cancellation of appointments or scheduling appointments via telephone or video calls.
- To liaise with clients regarding specific arrangements for activities where social distancing cannot be adhered to and where transmission of objects cannot be avoided.
For Your Information
- In addition to this guidance, Purple House Clinics have a full internal covid-19 policy which each local Clinical Director implements alongside risk assessments and contingency planning relevant to the local site.
- Clients and visitors are also provided separate guidance about attending clinic, which is available on our website.
- For your information, some of the general hygiene and social distancing measures we have in place include:
- All clients/visitors are asked to wear face coverings;
- Provision of hand sanitiser at the entrance and in each clinic room and toilet- signs will direct people to use sanitiser upon entry and exit of the premises;
- Promotion of hygiene measures and social distancing by displaying posters in clinic;
- Regular cleaning systems;
- Provision of close lid bins in clinic rooms for the disposal of tissues;
- Hygienic hand washing provisions and use of toilet facilities;
- Procedures in place to reduce the number of people present at clinics by keeping worker attendance at a minimum and staggering appointments times;
- Asking clients to wait outside the clinic prior to their appointment;
- Closing of waiting rooms and kitchens;
- Removal of unnecessary items such as magazines and toys, hot drinks facilities.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all. We will be more than happy to help and are keen to be responsive to any feedback you may have.
For information about the symptoms of coronavirus, how it is spread, how to seek advice and treatment, and whether you should be self-isolating please see official NHS advice by clicking here.