The PPH COVID-19 bulletin

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Covid-19 Bulletin August

Making changes to the ways we work and communicate

Whilst COVID-19 restrictions have been somewhat lifted, the coronavirus is still having a huge impact on the way practitioners work. We have put together some helpful guidance and practical tips to help you navigate the new normal and work safely during the pandemic.

The Government is keen to avoid imposing a second UK lockdown. However, preventing a national lockdown will depend on whether or not there is a second wave of the virus and how effectively the Government can respond if the infection rate rises quickly in multiple areas of the UK.

In order to protect ourselves and others the Government has introduced local restrictions in areas with an outbreak of coronavirus. Here is a list of areas with local restrictions and information about how to manage local outbreaks

Sign up at gov.uk to stay up to date and get emails when new coronavirus worker support information is added.

The coronavirus situation changes rapidly. Like us, all professional bodies are consistently encouraging their members to keep an eye on Government, NHS and Public Health England sites for further updates as these events unfold.

If you are a therapist yourself, ensure you have measures in place in the event of needing to self isolate or in case you contract the virus yourself. Here are some things to consider:-

  • Communicate with clients beforehand – inform them sessions could be liable to postponement or disruption on a temporary basis. Where possible, offer clients the option of continuing sessions by phone or video conferencing.
  • Think about how you will communicate any updates to your clients – for instance, if you become unwell and are unable to take sessions.
  • Do you have a process in place for clients to let you know if they are unwell, or have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Do you need to review your cancellation procedures in light of potential local lockdowns? 
  • If you contract COVID-19, do you need to let your clients know that you may be asked to provide their details to the relevant authorities for contact tracing, and is this covered by your confidentiality policy, contracts, GDPR and insurance?
  • How will your fees be affected? For example, if you normally charge a cancellation fee, will this still be the case in light of the pandemic? Might this cause a client to feel compelled to break self-isolation to come to a session?

Other steps you can take to minimise risk for your clients and yourself:

For many people there is a lot of anxiety around returning to face-to-face work, especially if they are clinically vulnerable or living with those who are high risk. Looking after your mental health and learning how to stay grounded, calm and level-headed about the situation, especially when your clients may well be feeling increased anxiety and are looking to their therapist for reassurance, is going to be instrumental.

Here are some useful resources to make sure you’re ready:

Infection Control Course

Show your clients you are up-to-date with the correct health and safety needed to prevent and control the spread of infection with this free Infection Control Course from Gateway Workshops

Online Therapy 

As a professional therapist did you feel ready to move your business online? Are you pleased to be going back to face-to-face practice or would you feel happier to use this mode of communication in the future? ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online) provide many training opportunities to get recognised qualifications in working online. 

Federation of Holistic Therapists

The FHT have provided their members with further information on Coronavirus to help their members return to work and have a Return to Work Pack for their members. 

Association of Physical & Natural Therapists 

APNT receive a lot of praise in the therapy industry for their dedication to supporting members and recently set up a trade union for therapists too.

GCMT – The Council for Soft Tissue Therapies

The GCMT are an excellent resource and have PPE Advice, Risk Assessment Guidelines, Daily Cleaning Record, Screening & Consent Form, Session Checklist, Information For Clients, Therapist Declaration, Temperature Record, Resource Pack and Face to Face Contact with Clients Guidance. These can be accessed on the GCMT website.

In the midst of a world health pandemic, everyone is impacted in some way. Ordinarily, the client is dealing with an issue and the therapist is slightly removed from it, whereas in this situation both client and therapist are dealing with the same situation together. How does this impact the therapeutic relationship? How have you coped in this situation yourself and what was the outcome?

Please feel free to get in touch with your stories of returning, or not returning, to work. We would love to hear from you. If there are any areas you would like PPH to cover, get in touch with us today at info@privatepracticehub.co.uk