We are living through extraordinary times with varying degrees of coronavirus lockdown restrictions depending on geographic location.
To help control the virus and prevent economic harm the UK government have introduced a three-tier COVID alert system which sets out strict guidelines on how to manage an outbreak and what you can and cannot do in any particular area that you live, work or travel. The aim is to avoid another widespread lockdown. The levels are:
- Local COVID alert level: medium
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.
- Local COVID alert level: high
This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.
- Local COVID alert level: very high
This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. You should therefore check the specific rules in your area.
Find out the restrictions for your local area simply by entering a postcode here!
Most people recover from coronavirus without any lasting effects but it’s estimated that as many as 10% of COVID patients may still experience symptoms weeks after infection, and up to 60,000 people may suffer from long-term effects after many months.
NHS England is investing more than £10m on a network of NHS clinics across England for people with “long Covid”. In addition to this, additional local funding will be made available to help establish clinics in every area across England. Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will assess, diagnose and treat patients who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness to chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
Patients will be able to get physical, cognitive and psychological assessments, which can identify chronic health issues, memory, attention and concentration problems and mental health conditions including PTSD. Post-assessment, they can be referred to specialist lung disease services, sleep clinics, cardiac or rehabilitation services, or signposted into mental health services.
NHS England have also commissioned NICE to produce guidance on a medical case definition of long Covid by the end of October, which will be followed by guidelines next month on the treatment that patients should receive. Meanwhile, the National Institute for Health Research is working with 10,000 patients to better understand the condition and refine appropriate treatment. For more information check out a video the BMJ have created about the phenomenon of long covid.
Therapy practitioners are trying to navigate government guidelines and dismantle obstacles to create effectiveness in therapeutic approaches. Across the board, we are hearing remarkably consistent stories from therapy professionals of all types who believe their greatest strength is the ability to think and act creatively. From finding a private space in a noisy and busy household to hold a professional virtual session, or completely changing the direction of their business, rewriting business plans, marketing strategies and all that follows. COVID-19 is providing an opening and opportunity for therapists… the pandemic has taught therapists that things can be done differently.
Is COVID-19 giving you a new perspective on taking your business online? If you need some tips on how to get started, here are some ideas:
- Understand how you can help people and communities without meeting in-person … as a therapist you are in a great position to really help those in need right now
- Offer resources and services supporting people/communities
- Include online sessions
- Share wellness advice via any of your digital channels i.e. website, social media etc
- Create a hub of useful resources and safety information on your digital platforms
4 easy steps to refresh your online marketing:
- Update your website/social media with any fresh information i.e. contact details, opening times etc. It is so important to do this regularly because out of date information could quite possibly lose you clients. Your website is an invaluable marketing tool
- Register your business on google business – it’s free and easy to use
- Check out relevant industry related business directories and get listed
- Think of any particular groups/organisations that may benefit from your content or want to collaborate and share your content
More than ever, it’s important to have the right insurance for your business. A Professional Indemnity policy will protect you from a claim that may arise from COVID-19, or other unforeseen circumstances. Learn more about our members-only insurance – click here.
The coronavirus situation changes rapidly. Like us, all professional bodies encourage members to keep an eye on Government, NHS and Public Health England pages for regular updates as events unfold. Information is frequently added and updated. Keep yourself up to date by signing up to receive email updates and business support.
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