Some good news…. things are certainly not back to ‘normal’ but it’s a start. Thank you for your understanding so far, COVID-19 has been causing havoc with all our lives and continues to do so.

I have been working hard (taking part in webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook live sessions, WhatsApp conversations and good old-fashioned phone calls) trying to figure out what the “new normal” will look like in my practice for the foreseeable future.

I am following the advice of my professional body, the College of Podiatry, and the HCPC to ensure I can provide treatment to my patients, as safely as possible, during this difficult time.


WHO CAN I TREAT?

From 1 June 2020 the advice is to provide advice by remote consultation if possible ( e.g. phone/ video etc). Where this is not possible or appropriate then face-to-face consultations are permitted.


HOW TO KEEP EVERYONE AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE

I appreciate that the idea of coming out of your homes can seem quite scary, but the Government advice is that you can go out for medical needs.

I would like to assure you that my focus is on protection – both yours and mine. I hope this will provide reassurance to those who need it. Working in a medical setting, infection control is a major part of our everyday and I have been working hard to secure appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be able to minimise the likelihood of infection spread.

I have had to upgrade some of the PPE that I use, so in the future I will be wearing hospital style scrubs, plastic aprons, a mask and goggles/visor throughout the treatment. I will also be altering the clinic layout to maintain as much distance between you and me as possible.

However, I must point out that despite everything we do, we won’t be able to eliminate ALL risk. It impossible in any setting or scenario – all I can do is to reduce it as far as possible.

I will be triaging patients (i.e. asking questions about your health status) before the appointment and again once you arrive. This is to limit the chances of anyone coming into contact with people who might have corona virus. I reserve the right to decline treatment if I deem it unsafe for me to provide.

My main objective is safety, both for you and for me, which means following social distancing measures, as far as possible, and wearing the correct protective clothing (PPE).

These steps are being taken to protect everyone:

✅ hand washing with soap and water before and after every treatment

✅ using alcohol gel as necessary

✅ using disposable gloves

✅ using disposable aprons

✅ wiping all hard surfaces with alcohol wipes in between clients, including the treatment couch, door handles, pens etc

✅ using a fresh set of sterilised instruments per client

✅ clinic is professionally, thoroughly cleaned at the start and end of each day


TREATMENT FEES

Please be aware that treatment fees have therefore had to increase to £50.00 for existing clinic patients and add a PPE supplement on home visits fees. This is as a result of a combination of factors which include:

  • Individual appointment times being extended in anticipation of the greater treatment requirements as patients have not been seen for some time
  • Time left between appointments to allow for deeper cleaning of the premises and just one patient at a time in the building to avoid contact with each other
  • The requirement to use additional PPE and the sharp increase in the cost of these items – around 10 times their usual price!

I am sure that you will appreciate that your treatment fee is not just for the time you spend in the clinic but includes:

  • PPE costs – aprons, gloves, masks, visors and clinical waste
  • Consumables – scalpels, dressings, padding materials etc.
  • Professional bodies memberships fees and ongoing training costs to maintain competency and meet registration requirements.
  • Time to clean and sterilise instruments and clinical environment.
  • Insurance, room, sterilizer maintenance contracts, clinic rent etc.

These additional measures have been taken to protect the public as far as possible. I hope that I can review this price increase once the guidelines allow me to relax the measures I have had to take.

It has been very difficult for me to have had to make this decision, but in order to practice safely and still be able to run this practice, it has been necessary to do so. I really hope you understand.


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO DIFFERENTLY WHEN YOU ATTEND THE CLINIC?

Please read the appointment protocol below before attending your appointment.

  • Arrive 5 minutes before your appointment and wait outside / in your car.
  • At the time of your appointment please knock and, when invited to, enter the clinic on your own. Anyone accompanying you must wait outside.
  • You will be triaged at the door before entering. This will include verbal or written consent for receiving podiatry treatment today, at your own risk.
  • Please wear a face covering over your nose and mouth ( eg a mask or scarf) and ensure that you maintain the 2 metre distance between yourself and me, as far as possible.
  • Upon entering you will be asked to use alcohol gel (or wash your hands) before entering the clinic.
  • Please try not to touch anything in the clinic and remove your own shoes and socks, ready for treatment.
  • As I will be wearing a mask and visor throughout the treatment which may limit conversation to your foot condition and any related medical issues. This is to reduce the risk of infection from air droplets.
  • Doors and windows will be left open to improve air flow.
  • The nail drill will not be used until further notice, due to the potential for aerosol infection.
  • Please have your cheque (£50.00 made payable to Fiona J Dyer) or cash ready in an envelope – it may be useful to have that available in a pocket so that you don’t have to bring any additional baggage e.g. a handbag.
  • A new appointment can then be made before a further hand gel application / hand wash before leaving the premises.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO DIFFERENTLY IF I AM VISITING YOUR HOME?

  • I will be putting on my PPE before I enter your house. When I arrive at your door it would be helpful if you could open the door, stand back to allow me to pass, then close the door behind me.
  • You will be triaged at the door before I enter your property to check if you have any symptoms of or at risk of having Covid-19. I will ask for verbal or written consent for receiving podiatry treatment today, at your own risk.
  • Please wear a face covering over your nose and mouth ( eg a mask or scarf) and ensure that you maintain the 2 metre distance between yourself and me, as far as possible.
  • I will wear Personal Protective Equipment ( apron, gloves, facemask and sometimes eye protection such as a visor) throughout treatment to reduce virus transmission. I have to follow strict PPE guidelines to make sure you and I are safe during your treatment.
  • I will ask you to be the only one in the room when I visit so any relatives/ carers should remain in another room during the visit.
  • I can still leave the waste from your treatment in your bin (it may assist if you could provide a carrier bag for it to go in (do not touch the waste for 72hrs) or I may take it away and dispose of it in my clinical waste bin.
  • I may ask if I can use your handwashing facilities. It would be helpful if you could provide me with kitchen roll or similar to dry my hands on.
  • I will spend time sorting myself out when I get back to the car so please don’t feel you have to stand at the door to wave me off, as it could take some time.

It all sounds a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it? But it’s something I think we are all getting used to as this situation continues. In the meantime, I am doing my utmost best to keep you as safe as possible.


If you have any further questions please refer to the College of Podiatry’s FAQ – click here.


Stay safe, stay alert, and keep well!

Jill