To keep you safe during these difficult times, and so that we can continue to support you and care for you, we’ve put in place many measures. These are to ensure we’re looking after your safety, and the safety of our staff, and we’ve detailed these changes below.
Much can be achieved through a virtual consultation, but when face-to-face consultations are required, these will be booked and pre-paid appointments, and we won’t be able to accommodate drop-ins.
All patients will be required to complete and bring with them, a Pre-Treatment Questionnaire.
COVID-19 OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are now operating under revised criteria. We are closely following the Government and the UK’s Audiological professional bodies guidance (AIHHIP, BAA, BSHAA) issued on the 1st June 2020. We appreciate that the majority of our patients fall into the 60+ age group and are in a higher risk category, so we must reduce risks. Our procedures will continue to be updated as government advice changes and new research is published on the insights on the transmission and effects of COVID-19. This procedures document is based on hearing care provision for clients who are asymptomatic/not infected with COVID-19, we will not see anyone with an active infection, or who has been recently exposed to an active infection.
The emphasis of our service will be on providing care remotely and only offering face-to-face care where it is clinically necessary and safe to do so.
Safe-Guarding of the Clinic and Protective Equipment
Air – Purification
We have invested in medical grade air purification technology which acts to ensure that there is clean and purified air in our practice. The system is capable of completely refreshing the air in the clinic every 5 minutes and is fully fitted with a filtration system to ensure the viral/bacterial load is removed. This ensures that any exposure to air borne particulates (e.g. Covid-19, Influenza etc) is significantly reduced.
We have installed Perspex screens throughout the clinic. These can be found positioned on the front reception desk, waiting area and clinic room. The screening has been erected strategically in order to minimise possible transmission risk in communication hotspots.
Revised Waiting Area
As we are operating a locked door policy, the waiting area has been adapted to temporarily suspend refreshments, non-essential seating, furniture and customer restroom facilities.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Practice operations rely on the adequate provisions of single use PPE. We have now obtained a working supply and reserve of full PPE which includes gloves, visors, face masks, aprons and hand sanitiser which are used in accordance with the UKs Audiological professional bodies guidance based on appointment type.
Revised Appointment Times
Appointment times are being doubled in order to allow sufficient time to disinfect and clean the practice between patients. Subsequently the total number of appointments available each day will be reduced.
Walk in appointments will not be accepted as all clinic time must be pre-booked.
Home visits are also temporarily suspended.
Revised Payment Process
All patients will be required to pay the full balance of their appointment prior to attending. This payment is refundable if the appointment is cancelled within 72 hours’ notice. If you need to cancel your appointment we can reschedule or refund (72 hours).
Cleaning and Waste Disposal
The practice will be deep-cleaned and all surfaces disinfected in between patients, ensuring that all high-touch areas receive treatment/disinfection frequently. Appropriate instructions for wet times will be followed. All PPE and microsuction equipment will be disposed of using professional waste removal services.
The Revised Patient Journey
Firstly, we will establish if an appointment can be conducted remotely. Remote support includes the use of telephone, email, video calls and postal repairs.
The services that can be delivered remotely include:
- Hearing Screening
- Replacement/upgraded hearing aids for experienced users
- Hearing aid adjustments
- Repair drop-off and collection
- Rehabilitative advice and follow up care
The reception team will establish if a patient has an audiological need that cannot be addressed remotely and will book a face-to-face appointment. In order for a face-to face appointment to be conducted safely the patient must adhere to the following:
- Patient to complete self-assessment questionnaire before arrival. If a positive response is recorded, then staff will advise the patient to self-isolate for the required period and no appointment will be made until this period is over.
- Patient must make payment for appointment prior to attending the clinic, to ensure minimal contact with cash/pin machines.
- Patient to arrive on time and wait outside the practice until invited inside.
- Patient to wear a face mask at all times. In the event that a patient does not have a face mask, one will be provided.
- Patient to allow their temperature to be taken by staff, using an infrared thermometer.
- Patient to use hand-sanitiser provided upon entering the clinic and refrain from touching any surfaces in the clinic.
- Patients must only enter the appointment room when asked to do so.
- Patients should attend alone, if this is not possible then 1 additional adult is permitted to accompany the patient. No children are allowed in clinic unless they are a patient.
- Patients must maintain a 2m distance from staff. Where clinical treatment renders this impossible then non-essential talking should be limited along with the time spent in close proximity.
- Patients should attempt to give prior warning to the Audiologist before coughing or sneezing in the clinic room.
- Once the appointment has finished, patients will be asked to vacate promptly.