With the current circumstances, we have had to put in some protocols in place to protect ourselves and our patients. Before we can consider a F2F (Face to Face) appointment we must screen patients for Covid-19 before allowing them to attend our practice. If it is vital that the patient is accompanied by a parent or carer, they will also need to be screened before attending our practice.
Before scheduling a F2F appointment, we must be able to justify that the benefits of seeing a patient face-to-face are evidently greater than the risks of infection transmission. This decision can only be made on a patient by patient basis and will be subject to a number of factors, such as:
● The local rate of infection (you can search the ONS);
- Your ability to maximise social distancing, implement infection control
procedures and utilise PPE;
- The patient’s clinical presentation; and
- The individual patients level of risk should they contract COVID (vulnerable
people or those with underlying health conditions, for example).
If, following virtual triage, if we feel that we can offer effective advice and rehabilitation virtually, and the patient is happy to do so, then we will use this option.
Before arranging an appointment, we will need to ask the patient (and any essential accompanying person) the following questions and record the answers given:
● Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days?
- Are you waiting for a COVID-19 test or the results?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms:
○ New, continuous cough*;
○ High Temperature or Fever;
○ Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste?
- Do you live with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
*A new, continuous cough means coughing for longer than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If the patient usually has a cough, it may be worse than usual.
According to NHS Information, a person is considered to be recovered from COVID-19 infection when they meet all of the following criteria:
- It has been at least 7 days since the onset of the COVID-19 symptoms;
- They no longer have a high temperature.
If the patient answers ‘NO’ to ALL of the questions, we can then assign the patient as “passed screening”. However, if the patient answers ‘YES’ to ANY of the questions, we will assign the patient as “failed screening”. Patients failing the screening will not be able to attend our practice and should follow Government advice on self-isolation and obtaining a test.