As an acupuncturist I already followed stringent infection control procedures and any of you who came for acupuncture before Covid-19 will know that handwashing and high cleaning standards were in place.
Before lockdown, I asked everyone who came for acupuncture to wash their hands or sanitise them with hand gel when they arrived, I removed all couch covers and blankets and the card machine was sterilised before use. Since lockdown, and in line with the guidance from Government and my professional body (British Acupuncture Council), I will wear a face mask during the treatment and gloves as required. I have done a thorough risk assessment in the clinic and made any changes needed to enable social distancing.
I have been mindful that you will still want to enjoy coming for acupuncture and I hope that it will still be a pleasant and relaxing experience.
I thought it might be helpful to explain what to expect when you come for acupuncture.
- Covid-19 check: If you experience any cough, fever or other Covid-19 related symptoms in the 7 days before your appointment then please let me know. I also need to know if you, or someone in your household has been in close contact with anyone who has suspected or diagnosed Covid-19. If you, or someone in your household, has been asked to shield then please call me before you attend.
- What to bring: Please wear a face covering. This can be a cloth mask or scarf and I have disposable masks in the clinic if you don’t have one with you. When you attend an appointment you are welcome to bring any blankets, towels or cushions from home to make yourself comfortable during your treatment. I will provide a pillow in every case. You may want to bring water with you in case you feel thirsty.
- When you arrive: Only one therapist is working at any time in the clinic, and appointments are spaced out, so you will not have to avoid other people leaving or arriving for treatments. The car park will be empty when you arrive. Please arrive on time for your appointment and wait in your car or outside the clinic. You do not need to ring the buzzer or telephone me to let me know you have arrived. If you have arrived on foot or in a taxi and it is raining, then ring the buzzer and I will collect you and take you to a seat away from other patients/staff. Once the previous patient has left, and my cleaning is complete, I will collect you.
- In the clinic: I will open and close all the doors, so you don’t need to touch these surfaces. I may take your temperature on arrival. You can wash your hands in the downstairs toilet or sanitise them with hand gel at this point. Please use the bannister to stay safe using the stairs. This will be sterilised after each patient. When you go into the acupuncture room, please take the seat that is furthest from the door. I will be sitting further away from you than I usually would. We can then talk through how you are and what you would like from acupuncture today. You will be asked to sign a COVID-19 Consent Form before treatment.
- During the treatment: I will wash my hands before I touch you and if required, during the treatment. I may use a clear visor if I need to place any needles in the head area. Once the needles are in place I will leave you to relax. We have two large windows in the room which allow plenty of fresh air and ventilation. If you feel you might get cold, then please bring a blanket or towel with you.
- After the treatment: Card payments are preferred and these can be made contactless. If you don’t have a contactless card then the machine will be sterilised before and after use. You can also contact me for my bank details if you prefer to pay by a bank transfer. I can still accept cash. After your acupuncture, I will see you out of the clinic so that you do not need to use the door handles, etc. We do have a toilet in the clinic designated for patients if you want to use it. This, as well as all other areas that you have been in contact with, will be thoroughly cleaned in time for the next acupuncture patient.
I hope that explains the steps we will take to stay safe but if you have any questions you can call me on 07815 097473 or email me at Rachel@racheledney.co.uk
I look forward to seeing you soon,