We are delighted that we are permitted to be open again after the COVID-19 closure. However, we are not open as we were before lockdown and we need to explain how this is going to work going forward for the foreseeable future. This is the same governance for all Physiotherapists working on the Island and the United Kingdom.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have correctly put in some stringent regulation that we must follow to ensure we are maintaining public health and individual patient safety. You can find these regulations at https://www.csp.org.uk/news/coronavirus/clinical-guidance/remote-or-face-face-consultations/implementing-guidance-england
Essentially, what it means is there are very few patients that can come into clinic – those who cannot be managed with virtual consultations. Those who have used the virtual service we have been working with I’m sure will agree it has been fantastic for patients conditions and most have had 1 or maybe 2 sessions to manage their condition.
To access the clinics at the moment you need to get in touch and book an online consultation at www.physiotherapy.im/online/.
If you don’t have a forward facing camera on your device we can do this on the telephone by calling 215638 and making an appointment. This assessment then helps us establish which group you sit in for your care – the face to face appointment or the virtual/telephone appointment. If you are for non face to face care then we can complete your care and review you in time during this assessment appointment. If you are for face to face care then we can make a clinic appointment and you can come in and see us.
If a face to face appointment has been made, we will then send (email or post) your information sheets and consent forms to ensure we are informing you of the risks of face to face care and the close proximity of Physiotherapists and their patients. If you are happy to accept the risks then a face to face appointment can then go ahead. Once you have been seen by us (in PPE – gloves, mask and apron) with stringent cleaning protocols, in the clinic room we will then determine the need for any further treatment – which could be face to face or could be online/telephone. The purpose of the face to face contact is about safety of your condition not about the choice to prefer hands on care.
We appreciate this is difficult and very different to normal circumstances but we have to follow the governance of our professional body, they provide our insurance and they have the expertise to gather the best evidence for the avoidance of spread of COVID-19.
Do get in touch – We cannot stress how much virtual consultations can effectively manage the vast majority of conditions. This will the be the new normal for a while to come.
Best wishes to you all!
Jane Cowley MSc
Chartered State Registered Physiotherapist