Safeguarding our clients during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keeping clients safe is, of course, a priority at Mind to Change. Below you will find the measures we are taking to operate a safe practice and comply with the law and regulations in relation to COVID-19. We have taken into consideration not only the relevant laws but also regulations and practices set out by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the National Council for Hypnotherapy and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council. We believe our interpretation of the law to be legal and reasonable. However, any additional suggestions or recommendations will be welcomed.
COVID Precautions for meeting with clients
Meetings with individuals classed as vulnerable (see below) or who live with people classed as vulnerable, must only be held via on line platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc. As far as possible we advise that meetings with individuals not classed as vulnerable should also be conducted on line unless the client believes that a face-to-face session is required to bring about the necessary therapeutic changes. We believe this complies with lockdown exceptions provided in COVID-19 law, Part 2, paragraph 6.(2) with regard to obtaining services relating to mental health, and 6.(4) “for the purposes of education of training” in order to improve or maintain acceptable states of mental health.
To safeguard you and other clients, the following rules will apply when meeting face-to-face.
1. Clients must:
- Cancel their appointment if they, other members of their household or people with whom they have recently been in contact or who are self-isolating or in quarantine have displayed symptoms which may be caused by COVID-19 (continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste/smell, etc.) within the last 14 days.
- Avoid touching surfaces or objects within the therapy room wherever possible.
- Observe the 1m rule at all times, ideally maintaining 2m distance as far as possible. Handshakes are not permitted.
- Wear a face mask or full face visor when not seated in the therapy chair.
- Bring their own drink (e.g. water bottle).
- Clean their hands at the sanitizing station on arrival in the therapy room.
- Take any rubbish (such as tissues) home.
- Wait outside the premises until the time of their appointment. A gap of at least 30 minutes will be maintained between appointments in order to fully cleanse the therapy room.
2. Your therapist will follow the rules set for clients and:
- Maintain a COVID-19 Risk Assessment document.
- Clean all key surfaces between meetings.
- Notify NHS Test and Trace if the practice is notified of any visitors who subsequently develop COVID-19 symptoms within 72 hours of visiting the facility.
The law defines vulnerable individuals as:
- Any person aged 70 or over
- Any person who is pregnant
- Any person who is seriously overweight, with a body mass index of 40 or above
- Any person with:
- Chronic (long term) respiratory disease, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or bronchitis.
- Chronic heart disease (such as heart failure), chronic liver disease (such as hepatitis), chronic kidney disease.
- Chronic neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy.
- Problems with the spleen, such as sickle cell disease or removal of the spleen.
- A weakened immune system as a result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy treatments.