Supporting our NHS, and our clients
In March 2020, as the country struggled to get infection numbers of the new and invisible threat of COVID-19 to a manageable level for our NHS, we were sadly forced to close the doors of our clinic. During lockdown, we saw our society embrace the opportunity to take daily outside exercise, to participate in morning PE routines with Joe Wicks and we joined many other families in adapting our dining room tables into a workstation to house our PC and to support our children in home schooling. We saw raised anxiety and stress levels, many new injuries and an exacerbation of existing problems. When we finally re opened the clinic in July we felt our communities need to access our services. People wanted to see their physiotherapist again. As we entered a ‘new normal’, things could not re open as they were previously, the continued prevalence of COVID-19 and the risks associated with transmission and exposure dictated that we manage our decision making carefully. Because COVID-19 is a novel virus where the body has no natural immunity and for which there is currently no vaccine available, we have a duty to take additional care to reduce the risk of exposing our patients and staff to infection.
Virtual Physio works!
Throughout COVID we are able to offer a choice of virtual or face to face services. We are equipped for web cam appointments, a phone call appointment or a strict socially distanced appointment that would not include hands on treatment. It is important to recognise that those who were previously shielding may choose to continue to self-isolate and / or practice social physical distancing. There will also be others who are concerned and for their own personal circumstances are choosing to limit their physical contact with others. Everyone needs to be able to have access to our services, and we must be inclusive to all. The great news is that virtual physiotherapy works too! Research has shown exercise therapy through webcam sessions gives great outcomes for most of the conditions that we see every day. Our virtual Pilates has also been really effective. As one client told us “it almost feels like everyone is in the studio together, I love being able to stay active and exercise under guidance from the comfort of my home”.
Staying safe in clinic
Whilst virtual treatment is a good alternative for our clients, we have made our clinic COVID safe so patients are able to attend the clinic for their physiotherapy. We have new routines and operations in place to reduce transmission risk from being in close contact with others, for example when being treated and from touching the surfaces around the practice. We have purchased medical grade air purifiers for every room, our physiotherapists wear PPE when treating, we have introduced COVID screening forms before every session and we have reduced footfall through our clinic. Hygiene is of course super important too, we promote hand sanitising and we are all on board with regular cleaning of all surfaces throughout the day. We know that our patients are reassured by our systems as we have a good flow of patients coming in each week. Whilst it’s great to see the clinic getting busy, we will not become complacent. We have embraced change to survive in the different world we find ourselves in. Our plans for our clinic, like the government’s plan for the country, countenance a situation where we are in this, together, for the long haul, while doing all we can to protect individuals and especially those who are more vulnerable and at risk.
Being in clinic again has been positive for our team, Neyomi, one of our physiotherapists shared that “having a sense of routine and purpose and being around co-workers gives a sense of togetherness and security as we all fight the pandemic together”. Physiotherapists work hard to gain their professional registration and even harder to develop experience and further specialist knowledge. Treating patients is at the heart of what physiotherapists do every day and it is important that we can continue to do that. During COVID we must be flexible and make adaptations, but by creating a safe environment we can continue to make our patients feel better, every day.
For more information on our virtual services see https://www.pilatesandtherapy.co.uk/our-virtual-first-approach-to-physiotherapy/
To find out more on our practice through COVID see our specific FAQ https://www.pilatesandtherapy.co.uk/2087-2/
To book an appointment call us on 01322 55 22 99 or book online https://pilatesandtherapy.connect.tm3app.com/