10 Jun Covid 19 Changes at the Clinic
Well it has been a strange time in Ireland and indeed across the globe these last few months. Many of us had to close our businesses’ doors with no idea when they could safely open again. There was a period of adjustment for most of us, as we learned how to work from home, dealt with the challenges of home-schooling, being stuck in doors, cancelled trips and events, for some learning how to be comfortable in their own company, and for all of us learning or remembering how to enjoy the simple things in life.
And now we have entered a new period of adjustment, learning how to re-integrate back into society, adapting our businesses to accommodate new Covid Guidelines and Health and Safety standards to mitigate the spread of this infectious virus.
The past few weeks have been a busy period of renovations, redesign, updates to procedures and processes and a bit of practice to get it right.
So what changes can you expect to experience when you arrange your next appointment? Here’s a detailed list:
The treatment room has been renovated and all unnecessary items removed. You’ll find just the plinth (treatment table) and a cabinet for supplies in the room now. This makes cleaning surfaces between each session possible. So you can be sure that the room is sanitised for your visit. There’s also a colourful new wall of glass blocks to brighten the place up.
Prior to each appointment a triage or pre-screening call is now required (per Covid Guidelines) and anything that can be done outside of the treatment room (via phone of Zoom) is to be completed prior to attending the clinic. So any consultations will be done remotely now, plus a questionnaire to establish that it’s safe for each client to attend the clinic i.e. that they have not been in contact with a known case of Covid or travelled abroad in the last 14 days etc. This will continue for as long as required by the HSE, my governing body MLD Ireland and my insurance provider.
During your visit to the clinic I will be wearing a mask to protect the client, and goggles to protect me. I will also request that you wear a mask during the session to protect me and ensure I can continue working (if I contract the virus I will not be able to treat my clients for at least 14 days). I appreciate your co-operation with this and if for any reason it is unsafe for you to wear a mask please let me know so that I can schedule additional time to ventilate the room before the next client. Your safety comes first, if a mask is counterproductive for you due to asthma, for example, then no mask is required.
Hand washing and sanitising has always been a feature while I’m working, but extra care will be taken here. I’ll also be using a fresh face cloth to dry my hands before and after each session (to protect the environment I prefer not to use disposable paper towels).
I hope it goes without saying, but while we are discussing hygiene, fresh covering for the plinth and fresh towel or blanket is used for each client and laundered at a high temperature before being used again. Please feel free to bring your own towel or blanket to your session if you feel more comfortable with that.
Let’s talk about taking payments – for hygiene reasons many of us are moving away from using cash. I am still happy to accept cash if that is your preference. I am also set up to receive payments via Revolut or Bank Transfer. I still have my credit card machine, however I will be adding the 2.5% fee to transactions going forward, previously I have absorbed this cost. The same applies to PayPal payments.
I will be increasing the cost of a session from €80 to €85 and I will no longer be offering a discounted rate for a course of treatments. I have thought long and hard about this, as the last thing I want to do is jump on the bandwagon of increasing prices during stressful times. However, there is a lot of extra time required for each appointment in order to meet the Guidelines, plus the cost of PPE etc. The fairest way I can come up with is a small increase in the price combined with reducing fees such as credit card machine fees and discounts.
Addition of a new service – I am keenly aware that private Lymphoedema care is expensive and many people have been impacted financially by the lockdown. I do not want anyone to have to forego treatment due to financial concerns. To make some effort to address this I will now be offering a service for compression bandaging (or wrapping) at a price of €50. The best treatment is MLD with bandaging, however as a bare minimum it seems sensible to offer bandaging only, at the rate that will be refunded by most health insurance providers. For example, if you are covered with VHI you can claim €500 per annum for treatment of Lymphoedema, €50 per session x 10 sessions. So at a minimum you can avail of 10 bandaging/wrapping sessions per year and receive a full refund from your insurance. Please do contact your insurer to find out if you are covered for MLD performed by a therapist who is registered with MLD Ireland. If you are unclear how this works or if it’s a suitable option for you, please get in touch to discuss. Please note this does not include the cost of bandages, however if you need these I can supply them and they can be reused for each session.
And you can still avail of a short appointment for the application of Kinesiotape, at a price of €20. As always, for my Lymphoedema clients I will teach you how to use the tape so that you can do this for yourself going forward. Tape can be purchased at a rate of €15 per roll.
All of the above being said, I am over the moon to be able to take appointments again and am comfortable that every precaution has been taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
I look forward to welcoming my regulars and new clients over the coming weeks.