Now that lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, clinics are now starting to reopen and are slowly beginning to see patients again. Despite the UK regaining some sense of normality, the new guidelines implemented for practitioners means your standard operating procedures will need to adapt to comply with government guidance.
As we ease out of lockdown, we need to continue to protect ourselves and our communities. Our Clinic Opening Checklist is designed to help you reopen and practise as safely as possible.
We have designed a free clinic opening checklist infographic for you to use daily in your clinic. Simply print off the checklist and ensure your clinic is safe.
Download the Clinic Opening Checklist.
- Where possible, soft furnishings should be replaced with wipeable surfaces. You may wish to modify existing furniture to make sure that it can be wipe down e.g. installing plastic seat covers on chairs. You must not re-use any items on another patient, including couch covers, blankets, sheets, gowns, pillowcases.
- Items that can be wiped down e.g. items made from PU or PVC must be disinfected between patients. When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, e.g. upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning may be considered.
- Single-use disposable items are preferred. Any item that has come into contact with the patient must be disposed of safely in a clinical waste bin. This also applies to any items of personal protective equipment (PPE). Waste bins used in your clinic should be ‘no-touch bins’ such as pedal bins.
- We recommend ventilating the clinic areas and treatment room with outside fresh air between patients.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- When you are less than two metres from your patient, it is recommended that you wear a Type IIR Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask. These masks are single-use disposable masks and should not be worn for longer than 4 hours. The mask must stay covering your mouth and nose. Refrain from removing or touching the mask and do not wear under the chin.
- The patient should also wear face masks. If a patient arrives without a mask and requests on, you should make one available to them. They should wear the mask at all times while in the clinic. We sell individually wrapped face masks, ideal for providing or reselling to patients.
- The use of disposable gloves may be appropriate when coming into contact with bodily fluid. It should be noted that gloves are not a substitute for frequent hand washing.
- You must change your clothing if it becomes contaminated with droplet contaminants such as nasal or salivary fluids and at the end of each clinic session. Consider using aprons, protective overalls and/or having a change of clothes with you in case this happens.
- All disposable PPE must be safely disposed of in clinical waste bins.
- We have a large range of PPE items available to buy. Ensure your clinic is stocked up and buy now.
- Frequent handwashing by everyone who comes to your clinic is essential for infection protection control. Patients should wash or sanitise their hands immediately upon entering the premises.
- Hand cleaning facilities should be available upon entry to the building. Hand cleaning facilities can include a hand sanitising station or a hand basin with soap. Please note: hand sanitising gel should contain at least 70% alcohol to kill viruses and bacteria.
- Posters on hand cleaning should be visible.
- Practitioners and staff should wash their hands frequently throughout the day and through each appointment. Practitioners should wash their hands before and after touching the patient.
- We recommend not accepting cash payments, you should consider switching to digital payment methods. If the payment is not contactless, clean the terminal between patients.
- Where patients are required to complete forms or provide signatures, the pen should be sanitized before and after use or patients may bring their own pens.
- Individuals in the clinic should catch any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in a bin and immediately wash their hands.
- It is important to stagger appointments for patients, to ensure that the entry and exit of patients do not coincide. Where possible, patients should be encouraged to come to your clinic on their own.
- Appropriate signage must be placed to advise patients of social distancing requirements. Waiting rooms must be closed if social distancing cannot be achieved. Seating and any surface that patients might have touched in the waiting room must be cleaned after every use.
- A Perspex screen may be considered to divide and protect reception staff. The ‘sneeze guard’ should be cleaned periodically throughout the day.
- Posters on hand cleaning should be visible.
We understand that this is a stressful and uncertain time for many individuals, especially in private healthcare, but we believe that our industry needs us more than ever and we will continue to work together to find the best solution possible.
If you would any more information regarding clinic opening safety, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.