COVID-19 Clinic Guidelines (UPDATED January 22nd, 2021)
WE ARE OPEN…
In line with the most recent government guidelines, on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, England moved into a new ‘National Lockdown: Stay at Home’ tier.
Updated guidelines received from Public Health England (PHE) and our governing body, The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), state that the clinic at Acupuncture West London may remain open. We are permitted to see all patients under the BAcC classification of ‘phase 3 – urgent care and high needs’. However, please bear in mind that current guidelines are subject to change at short notice.
“The position of the BAcC is that acupuncture performed by our members is included within the definition of ‘medical services’ and [we] should therefore be able to practice. We are supported in this classification by the Professional Standards Authority.”
As always, protecting our community continues to be our number one priority. We continue to implement stringent hygiene protocols for your safety and wellbeing – and that of our community. Please rest assured that we continue to review and update our protocols in line with the most up-to-date PHE and BAcC advice.
In addition to these protocols, we are delighted to announce that we have now installed a brand new state-of-the-art air filtration system in the clinic. The Airvia 100 air filtration system uses the highest grade H13 HEPA filters, ionization, photocatalysis and UV sterilisation technologies – its installation designed to prioritise the continued safety and well-being of all our patients in the months ahead.
“The effectiveness of HEPA filters and UVC rays in capturing and destroying the coronavirus when it is present in the air has been strongly demonstrated, and this is why these two technologies are at the forefront of many health professionals’ recommendations.”
To read more about the Airvia 100 and Covid-19 prevention, please click here.
With this in mind, below is some important information for all patients visiting the clinic and/or with upcoming appointments. Please read the following information carefully.
PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT:
Prior to booking/attending your face-to-face appointment, we must assess whether it is safe for you to visit the clinic at the present time. With this in mind, and in line with PHE and BAcC guidelines, we require you to complete our ‘Covid-19 Screening Form’ prior to visiting the clinic. This applies to ALL patients and must be completed:
- prior to each appointment.
- before you arrive at the clinic.
Questions include the following:
- Have you had a fever in the last 10 days (including feeling hot to touch on your chest and/or back)?
- Do you now have, or have you recently had, a persistent dry cough (coughing a lot for more than an hour, 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours, or worsening of a pre-existing cough)?
- Have you lost sensations of taste and/or smell?
- Have you been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 or has coronavirus-type symptoms?
- Have you been diagnosed with/tested positive for Covid-19 and/or coronavirus within the last 14 days?
- Have you been advised to stay home, self-isolate or self-quarantine?
- Do you or anyone that you live with fall into the ‘clinically vulnerable’ or ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ categories?
If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘Yes’, we would ask that you contact us directly prior to visiting the clinic.
N.B. If it is decided that it is unsafe for you to attend the clinic, we will explain clearly why this is the case. In this instance, we may be able to offer alternative advice via telephone or video link.
ARRIVING AT THE CLINIC:
On arrival, please adhere to the following instructions:
- for the safety of our staff and other patients, and to maintain social distancing protocols, please arrive at the clinic at the scheduled time of your appointment – not early or late. Please be advised that our waiting room is currently not in use.
- please arrive at the clinic wearing your own face covering, without which we cannot allow entry to the clinic. Alternatively, we can supply masks at a cost of £1.50 per mask.
- travel light and take as few personal belongings into the clinic as possible – if possible, leave bags, coats, etc., in the car or at home.
- please arrive at the clinic alone. If you need a chaperone, parent or carer, additional persons must be approved by us prior to your appointment.
- please follow all your practitioner’s guidelines and those displayed at the clinic.
- if possible, please use contactless payment. We are not accepting cash payments at this time.
- please be advised that we are not currently supplying gowns or towels. We, therefore, recommend that you arrive in loose-fitting clothing, or bring your own towels and/or gown if you would prefer.
DURING YOUR APPOINTMENT:
On arrival at the clinic, your practitioner will direct you accordingly:
- You will be directed into a treatment room immediately on arrival. To meet current social distancing requirements, our waiting room is currently not in use.
- You will have your temperature checked with a contactless infrared thermometer.
- Your practitioner will open and close doors for you. While all surfaces are cleaned between appointments, please still be mindful to avoid contact with as many surfaces as possible outside of the treatment room.
- Your practitioner will explain exactly what you need to do in the treatment room, including the following:
- where to place your belongings – a box will be provided for your jacket and other belongings (sterilised before each appointment).
- where, when and how to wash your hands.
- any other hygiene and/or safety procedures.
Finally, in line with PHE and BAcC guidelines, your practitioner will be adhering to stringent hygiene protocols and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the duration of your appointment.
FOLLOWING YOUR APPOINTMENT:
If you develop Covid-19 symptoms or have a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 within 48 hours of having acupuncture, please immediately inform:
On street parking is available directly outside the clinic on Merton Road. The New Southfields Clinic is within Wandsworth Council’s W2 parking zone. Parking restrictions are operational from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The length of time allowed is 1-4 hours. Local notices are clear.
LATE ARRIVALS & CANCELLATION POLICY:
Due to the protocols we have in place for COVID-19, all patients are requested to arrive at their scheduled appointment time. As our waiting room is currently not in use, we will direct you into a treatment room immediately on arrival. However, out of respect to our clientele, so that the clinic can run on-time, and so that we can adhere to social distancing protocols, we can only hold your appointment for a maximum of 15 minutes following your allotted time. Unfortunately, while we will always do our best to accommodate you, failure to arrive within this time means that we may not be able to see you.
If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment for any reason, please provide us with a minimum of 24 hours notice. We are very lucky to be busy and often have a waiting list. While we do understand that things happen, if you are unable to give 24 hours notice and/or fail to attend your appointment, we may have to charge for the appointment in full.
We appreciate that this is a deeply uncertain and stressful time for all of us. Please rest assured that we continue to do everything in our power to make the clinic the safest possible environment for all of us. However, if you do have any further questions and/or concerns regarding your treatment, please feel free to get in touch.
Stay safe and well,
CLINICALLY VULNERABLE PEOPLE:
People in this category of risk include:
- Anyone aged 70 and older (regardless of medical conditions)
- Anyone under 70 with an underlying health condition (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds) – such as:
- chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines (such as steroid tablets)
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- pregnant women
CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE PEOPLE:
People in this category of risk include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immuno-suppression drugs.
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase the risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
- Other people have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions.
More information about who has been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable is available on the NHS Digital website.
Can acupuncture help me?
For the most up-to-date research and evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture, please visit the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.
If you would like to learn more about how acupuncture may be able to help you, please contact us today.