COVID-19

Minor Update, 1st october 2020

Strathmore, who manage Scott House, have now installed a QR code to scan when visiting the building.

Please could all clients scan the code and comply with this latest precaution. in the event of being informed that someone has been tested positive in the building, you will be informed via the Scott House track and protect scheme. This is not instead of our own scheme, and you are still required to consent to our system, and are also recommended to use the Scottish Track and Protect phone application as well.

It should be noted that there is a low likelihood of infection from another user of the Scott House building even if you are contacted, since the only risk really is in the reception lobby, stairwell and lift.

Environmental impact of PPE and precautions is being limited where possible, with Scotlandtherapy moving to biodegradable antibacterial wipes, gloves, face mask filters and vegan disinfectant sprays. Face visors are being sterilized and reused as many times as possible (unfortunately they tend to break).

Additional update 26th August 2020

We note that under Scottish law, our clinic room, which allows social distancing at 2 meters means that a face mask can be removed if needs be once seated. (see below). However we ask that a mask still be worn if possible as an added precaution, and masks / coverings MUST be met in common areas of the building where the ONE METER rule applies.

Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment. This allows us to stagger appointments and clean between clients. It is important you do not arrive early since we need to ensure clients do not meet indoors (see regulator advice) and we do not want to have to extend gaps to the otherwise recommended 30 mins.


LINKS:

Regulator advice
https://www.cnhc.org.uk/covid-19-advice-return-to-work-and-working-safely

General Scottish rules
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/face-coverings/ 

Exclusions including with 2 meters distancing 
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/103/regulation/6B

New Offices, important update effective 5th August 2020 , minor clarifications added 19th August in [] brackets

We are very happy to announce that from the 5th August we are moving to new bespoke offices in Edinburgh City Centre. The landlords are known to both us and to colleagues of ours, and we are very happy to note that they have extremely organised and effective COVID measures in place.

In our clinic room we have no-touch hand sanitiser, and a medical grade special air filter that combines HEPA filtration, UV sterilisation, Ioniser and Aromatherapy oils. This combines all the main air cleaning methods in one unit, calibrated and chosen for the size of space in use.

As well as the in house cleaning, the room is sanitised in multiple ways before, after and between sessions using both antiseptic and UV methods. Ventilation will also be used where practicable. Face masks or coverings must be worn in session.

In addition to the usual measures we have already outlined below please note the following in addition, specific to our new offices.

  1. Please only use the lift when going up to the clinic office where possible. Having said this, if you have any mobility issues, or would find descending the stairs from the 6th floor too much, then do continue to use the lift. Remember your face covering.
  2. Please avoid touching lift buttons and stair banisters wherever possible. If you do need to touch these, there are hand sanitiser facilities at the entrance of the building, and at our clinic room. Please do not touch your face in between touching these items and cleaning your hands. [In the lift please face away from the therapist, who will wear a face visor and mask.]
  3. Please wear face coverings inside the building, since the stairwells and lift do not allow for 2m social distancing, and therefore the 1m rules apply. [In the practice room the chairs are 2 meters apart, therefore technically under government exclusions HERE coverings can be removed, however please wear a face covering if possible. We respect that some people are excluded from this requirement due to medical or other conditions, however please wear one if possible since we want maximum safety in clinic. We have additional safety features in place in support of this.]

REMEMBER in the building common areas
the ONE METRE rules apply, and the clinic room the 2m rules apply

  1. Always wear a face covering if possible.
  2. Maintain a reasonable distance of around 1m where possible
  3. Give way to oncoming people to allow space
  4. Ensure up to date track and trace information has been given to your therapist
  5. Catch and bin coughs and sneezes in a tissue and clean hands
  6. Clean hands regularly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.

Update – reopening Face to Face! 10th July 2020

From 15th July Face to face psychological therapy will be possible. We start back on the 25th July.

Please note that to receive face to face therapy you must first complete the new consent form HERE

You should read the consent form carefully and revisit it if you forget content. You must not attend if you or anyone you have had contact with in the last 14 days have had any COVID symptoms (see below). You must not attend if you have visited any locked down areas, countries or hot spots, or countries not on the Scotland open air travel list in the last 14 days. You must not attend if you have any reason to think you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You must not attend if you are ill with any other infectious illness. You should consult carefully before attending if you or anyone you support or live with is shielding.

Summary:

By attending, you are agreeing that your attendance time(s) and contact details can be shared with Track and Trace in the event of an outbreak or case on the premises.

Before attending you must ensure you are not symptomatic and where possible please check your temperature.

On the way to attending you must obey mandatory rules on public transport.

On arrival you may be required to have a touch free temperature check.

On arrival, departure and if using the toilet (only to be used if urgent) you must use hand cleaning protocols.

You must wear a face covering during sessions

You may not bring food, drink or a companion to sessions.

You may not wait around the premises before or after sessions, please arrive within 5 minutes of time.

Please check your session time carefully, sessions will have to be staggered to allow for extra cleaning and to prevent groups arriving at once.

You must tell us and remain using virtual sessions if you become symptomatic, any of the other risks apply, or if you have allergies or contra indications to cleaning or hygiene products that may be used for infection risk reduction.

Booked sessions will have the capacity to be virtual, and if you can not or should not attend in person, your session will default to being virtual via doxy.

Update 4th June (previous Update 24th March)

Corona Virus Update – Scotlandtherapy

We are now as a country in Lock down. Please do not attempt to attend any venues. All sessions are virtual using doxy.me

Although lock down is now easing, the professional bodies and regulators are still instructing psychological therapists that it is not appropriate to do face to face sessions at this time. We are however preparing the necessary training, precautions, safety measures and PPE for when it is indeed time to return.

Stay safe, stay well, stay at home!

As you will no doubt already be aware, the COVID-19 virus is now spreading in the UK, with the first 2 cases in Edinburgh today (12th March).

The official government advice can be seen at the NHS site https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Scotland workplace advice https://www.gov.scot/news/workplace-advice-contained-in-new-coronavirus-guidance/

Your role as a client:

If you have symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, do NOT attend your session in person, simply arrange to have a virtual session using Skype or Zoom. If you are seriously ill with the virus, such as being in hospital, let us know as soon as possible and you will not be charged for the duration of serious illness.

When it is safe to return to face to face sessions, there will be additional precautions to carry out before each session. These include a check list of symptoms including fever, and possible exposure. Further checks will be carried out on site.

Remember the key symptoms:

  • Dry cough
  • High Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained rashes or COVID-toe
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Head pains
  • Severe muscle pains

Additional symptoms, not recognised by the government yert, are also listed on official sites such as those of the World Health Organisation, and the British Medical Journal

So in short if you have these symptoms, or have had contact with an infected person, then self isolate and call NHS 24 for testing via the 111 phone line. See the above link for more information and advice.

Additional: According to new studies, the initial period of mild coughing and very few symptoms is the most infectious, so please do not ignore a dry cough that has no other obvious cause!

Incidentally if you have any infectious illness the above should also apply. The cancellation rules are clear, you are still liable for sessions if unwell, unless this requires critical / hospital care. You can however still have a virtual session.

If you cough or sneeze, remember the catch it and bin it protocol, avoid touching your face, and use hand washing and sanitising protocols frequently, especially after touching surfaces, or coughing or sneezing.

You are advised to carry your own water or food with you and use disposable cups at coffee shops for the duration of the outbreak. Avoid food, glasses or cutlery that are not sterile.

Remember that even if you have a less harmful virus or illness, spreading it could make other people more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Our role as a healthcare provider

Before lockdown we were insuring careful practice at our clinic locations, and were liaising with the management of each to ensure warm water and soap, and or hand sanitiser are available at all locations, and other deep cleaning procedures were being followed.

We were also ourselves carrying hand sanitiser as well as an extra precaution, and we are applying antiviral sprays to rooms and surfaces repeatedly throughout the practice day.

We were already rewashing all cups and glasses at the start of each day in warm soapy water as recommended so as to be sure that these are clean.

  • During Lockdown we have switched to online support via virtual sessions, using a custom and secure package called Doxy.
  • We have also ensured additional support via google drive resource files and Limbic smartphone technology
  • After lockdown we will have comprehensive additional precautions in place for prevention and control.

If I (Stuart) have to self isolate, then unless I am incapacitated by the virus, I will be available for virtual appointments.