WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS – KINDA
What a decade this year has been!
We are in the process of reopening face-to-face consultations; but only for urgent* chiropractic cases (for now). Please note, we are still available for remote consultations, for anyone who wants one.
First, we’d like to explain why we closed, what’s changed, and why we are now reopening.
Second, we’d like to explain what precautions we are taking, and request that you take.
Finally, we’d like to explain what cases we will be seeing, and the procedure for being seen.
Chiropractors have always been on the government’s list of essential workers, allowed to stay open during lockdown. We initially decided to close for a number of reasons:
We didn’t feel that we could provide a safe environment without PPE, and didn’t want to deny supplies for the NHS by buying from local suppliers (and didn’t want to contribute to the single-use plastic environmental problem). We have now sourced appropriate PPE in accordance with PHE guidelines – mostly sourced from China. We will be decontaminating and re-using masks, aprons and goggles, whilst we have disposable gloves.
We were worried about the path the virus was taking, and the prospects of seeing NHS capacity overwhelmed. We now know that lockdown has reduced the spread of the virus, whilst the NHS has massively increased capacity.
We wanted to volunteer our time to work for the NHS, but haven’t been offered anything.
We will be continuing with the cleaning measures we were taking before closing. We are cleaning everything we can think of after every use (not just frequently touched items). Appointments are booked at least 45 minutes apart to avoid interaction, to allow airborne droplets to fall, to allow aeration of the premises, and to allow time for extra cleaning measures. We have replaced towels with paper roll. We are keeping 2m distance between ourselves and patients wherever possible. We are taking our own temperatures on a daily basis, and wearing full PPE.
Patients will be required to sanitise their hands on arrival, to have their temperature checked on arrival, and to wear a barrier face mask – we have a small stock of washable masks that you can buy from us (£5).
You are also asked to not bring anything with you that you don’t need – just yourself and a payment card. Coats, wallets, handbags etc. are potential surfaces to spread the virus, and hard/impossible to decontaminate.
Before we will see anyone in person, we will conduct a telephone consultation for the purposes of triage (this is free of charge, and takes <5 minutes). We need to ensure that any patients are asymptomatic, not in the “shielding” group, that the case is urgent*; and that hands-on care is required.
For new patients, or existing patients with a new case; we will conduct a video consultation in order to take a case history. This can take an hour or so; and allows us to understand your case and your needs, provide a provisional diagnosis and explanation, and to give you specific advice and exercises etc for what you can do at home. Under normal circumstances this is done in the office, and forms the most important part of the 80 minute consultation. This is charged at £40 payable by BACS – ⅔ the normal price of a new patient consultation.
If appropriate, we would then arrange a face-to-face consultation to conduct a physical examination, tailor the diagnosis, and get started with hands-on treatment. This is charged at £20, payable by either BACS or by contactless in clinic – this represents paying the balance of the normal charge.
For existing patients, who we’ve seen recently about the same problem, we already know most of the above, and “just” need an update on the details, so we can bring you straight in for treatment.
At this time, we are not offering face-to-face care to anyone living in the Gloucester local authority area. This is due to the local infection rates here being notably higher than the rest of the surrounding area. We will monitor this week by week, but currently anticipate that patients will be seen starting Monday 25th May.
We are not yet offering face-to-face care to anyone classified as vulnerable, and in the shielding group. Whilst we can do our best to minimise infection risk, we cannot eliminate that risk; so if you have been asked to stay at home until the end of June (for most, the advice is different for different levels of vulnerability), then we cannot invite you into our office until that shielding period is ended. Our expectation is that this will be after the inevitable second wave of infection has subsided; but it may well be longer than that.
* We are only seeing urgent cases – so only cases that would affect your ability to work; or for which you would otherwise utilise NHS services.
The purpose of triage is to simply categorise your case into:
1. Potential for serious pathology that may need A&E attention.
2. Face-to-face care is required.
3. Care is appropriate, but should be handled remotely.
We are still treating NHS staff pro bono #SupportOurNHS.
If you wish to book an appointment, please let us know via Facebook or by email (backinaction[ANTISPAM]@live.co.uk); as we are mostly “working from home” the clinic phone line may not be answered.
If you have any questions at all, we are always here for you.
Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
We have signed up with Zoom, video conferencing software; and can now offer “Telehealth” – remote consultations by video.
Yes, if you’re in pain, but can’t leave the house, I can still help!
If you’re thinking about phoning NHS111, your GP clinic or visiting minor injuries – then please, instead of increasing the NHS workload, contact us instead – triage (our equivalent of 111) is free, and we are still available for hands-on treatment when necessary.
We’re very new to this, and are still working things out; but it means that we should be able to provide you with some level of care and advice remotely; and to minimise face-to-face time where appropriate.
Most of what we do in your chiropractic appointments isn’t about the hands-on treatment – it’s about helping you manage the pain and the injury through advice and coaching, exercise prescription and pain management ideas etc.
If you wish to book a virtual consultation, please let us know by email (backinaction[ANTISPAM]@live.co.uk), or via Facebook; as we are “working from home” the clinic phone line will no longer be answered. If you know anyone who is in pain, and considering phoning NHS111, their GP clinic or visiting minor injuries – please ask them to reduce the NHS workload, and contact us instead – triage (our equivalent of 111) is free, and we are still available for hands-on treatment when necessary.
Initially, I will be offering 3 levels of online telehealth appointment.
1. A short consultation to assess and “triage” your musculoskeletal case – judge how serious it is. We can then decide if your case can be dealt with remotely, in person, or in a prescribing/hospital setting.
The primary purpose of this is an attempt to reduce the load on the NHS, as they have bigger fish to fry right now. If you would normally call your GP practice for something muscular, boney or jointy, consider calling us instead.
There will be no charge for this consultation.
2. We will also be offering long sessions for new patients, where we can take a case history, assess the quality of your movement, have you point to the painful area etc, and get as close to a diagnosis as possible. From there we can discuss options, such as home-exercises and self-care, reassurance and education as to what’s going; or potentially, to come into clinic and finish the case file with a physical examination and hands-on treatment.
This will be charged at £40 – ⅔ the price of a new patient consultation
If you then have to come in for hands-on care, then that will simply be the remaining £20.
3. The final level of remote consultation will be of medium length, for existing patients, wanting to touch base, tinker with the home care, reminder of the situation, assess the safety of a proposed activity etc etc
This will be charged at £26 – ⅔ the price of a follow-up appointment.