Face to face visits
We have adopted a pragmatic approach to making face to face visits, that balances the health needs of our clients with the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Whereas at the beginning of the lockdown, we only conducted face to face visits for clients in emergency situations, we are now delivering face to face visits for clients who are not suitable for remote intervention and would like to be seen in person. This means for those people who previously were not suitable for remote intervention, we do now have an alternative option, pending an individual risk assessment.
Rather than adopt a blanket one size fits all approach to risk assessment, prior to offering a face to face visit, the occupational therapist will complete a full and personalised risk assessment with each client. This will consider the individual client's circumstances as well as the specific environment in which the visit is due to take place.
This process aims to ascertain 3 elements:
- That the client or any member of their household are not isolating or showing symptoms of Covid.
- That the client’s needs cannot be clinically met through a remote intervention
- If a face to face visit is needed, risks can be controlled and mitigated as far as possible. This encompasses, client behaviours, cognition and environmental factors.
Risk can never be eliminated entirely, and it is our policy to take an individual approach to risk assessment. This helps ensure that visits only take place if risks have been assessed and both the client and therapist understand these risks, how they will seek to mitigate/reduce these and the client consents to a visit taking place.
Examples of considerations that will feature as part of the risk assessment process, will include but are not limited to:
- The client's status with regards to clinical vulnerability and "at risk" groups.
- The client's ability to understand and practice social distancing.
- The environment in which the visit is planned and whether this is well ventilated and conducive to social distancing.
- Whether measures such as outdoor visits or reduced duration (partial remote methods) may help reduce any risks.
Preparation for a face to face visit
Client preparation is a key component for a face to face visit, not least because where social distancing is possible, it will rely on client participation and adherence. The therapist will explain how the face to face visit will be completed and what to expect and will have access to a client information sheet, which therapists can provide via email to clients ahead of the appointment.
It is likely, where appropriate, we will use a combination of both remote and face to face methods to ensure we achieve a successful therapeutic outcome. Where we can gather information in advance via the telephone, we will do so to reduce face to face contact time.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is the policy of The OT Practice that single use, PPE is worn for each visit to include as a minimum a mask and gloves. This will be donned prior to entering the property and doffed once the OT has left.
Combination of models
As explained above, our model of therapeutic delivery for both face to face and remote visits is individual to each client and their circumstances. Our aim is to provide high quality clinical occupational therapy support to the client that is appropriate and risk managed. To this end, it is likely that we will use a combination of both models to achieve the desired outcome. The OT or office team will discuss with you the most appropriate methods at the time of referral.