Coronvirus Pandemic has affected everyone and will do for some time yet as we all know – so I am adding an update to give guidance on how new changes will be managed in practice. Any questions just drop me a line or call 07790 142401 I will be very happy to talk through any concerns.
With so many changes over the last few weeks, I just wanted to bring you up to date with what is happening with private podiatry services. Most importantly for you what the changes are ahead when we are operational.
Thank you to all my existing patients for your understanding so far and welcome to this letter for any new enquirers. It goes without saying that this has been a difficult time for all especially for those of you over 70 years old, vulnerable or in the high risk category – a scary and frustrating on-going situation but we will find a new way of managing.
As you know, up to now our instructions from the professional bodies College of Podiatry (CoP) & Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) was that the only patients to be seen had life/limb threatening conditions and/or were key workers in pain so that they could go back work pain-free. This is to ensure that the Covid-19 infection levels are being managed across the population and most essentially, to protect the vulnerable, over 70’s and shielded groups.
The consequence of this was that we could deliver no routine treatment/assessment ie nail cutting and the treatment of corns, callouses, verrucae unless likely to lead to infection or ulceration. All booked appointments have been cancelled since that date.
Following the Prime Ministers announcement this week, I received on Tuesday morning new guidelines/instructions from the Government and the CoP, HCPC on how we can move forward (although as you know subject to change). There have now been a few exemptions added to when a patient can be seen and in the future – all new appointments will be triaged to see if they meet the new guidelines.
With the guidelines we are in the process of making physical arrangements to the room and trying to source upgraded PPE (currently out of stock) that is to be worn. The new supplies are proving to be expensive and out of stock, however I am unable to practice without the correct PPE. There are other changes to be made to the reception and waiting room currently being undertaken by my long suffering friend Christine (dentist and practice owner). She has also been hard at it redecorating the premises. Very long hard work and I am very grateful to her for all her support.
To highlight some of the future changes that Christine and I have been working on so that we meet all the regulations:
1, Appointment bookings:
- Before your appointment is booked we will need to confirm any health issues you may have before your appointment is arranged.
- Appointment times will be longer and staggered so that we can maintain physical distancing in the public areas.
2, Arrival at the building
- Car drivers will be able to use the marked car space outside the building and wait in the car until I call you. Only the patient (please let me know if patient is unstable to walk on their own) can come into the building to ensure we can observe the 2 metre distancing. Directions will be advised on how to access the parking area.
- If walking, cycling or taxi we will be arranging a seated waiting area with 2 metre spacing (max 2 people). Please try not to arrive early.
- As we will not be able to keep to a distance at all times it is the Government advice for you to use a face covering -bring your own if you have one or I will be trying to source some to have available (although out of stock) which you can buy. No promises on that one.
- Hand washing facility available in the waiting room and treatment room for you to use.
- I will be wearing the appropriate level of PPE, mask scrubs etc so I will look a bit scary and different however it is same old me underneath I promise.
- Hygiene and infection control have always been strictly adhered to at the practice however new measures will need to be implemented to protect patients and staff this will reduce the amount of appointments that can be seen in a day.
4, Fee payment
As you know I have not put up my fees in many years and I will no doubt have to review the fee structure in the very near future as you will appreciate that the additional costs of PPE and changes are not insignificant. I will let you know once all the items have been sourced and received.
- No cash now please, Contactless up to £45 terminal will be available
- All transactions/returning appointment bookings will be conducted in the treatment room (not reception)
This I know all looks a bit daunting and bit overwhelming and you have all been so loyal to me in the past and I hope that your visits to me have always brought a smile and relief – no one could have imagined that I would have to write a letter like this but the most important thing is to stay well and healthy. All the measures are necessary and to protect everyone.
On the meantime if you need any advice just contact me