28th July 2021 | Coronavirus

FIRST PUBLISHED 19 July 2021. UPDATED 28 July 2021. Updated in red 

 

On Monday 19 July 2021 England moved to Step 4 of the UK Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.

While the move into Step 4 sees most legal restrictions being lifted, infection rates remain high and we are in the third wave of the pandemic. The UK Government states that it is important to take measures to keep yourself and others safe and to remain cautious. For more guidance on how to do this, see Coronavirus: How to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July.

New Government guidance for close contact services in England

The UK Government has also published new guidance for close contact services that apply from 19 July. You can find it here.

This guidance applies to all CNHC Registrants. You should read this guidance carefully and implement the measures it outlines to protect your staff, clients and the public.

During the pandemic, CNHC Registrants have continued to play their role as healthcare providers, putting in place strict infection control measures to keep your clients and yourselves safe. We urge you to continue to play your part in keeping infections down at this critical time in the reopening of the country. In particular:

  • Carry out a revised risk assessment and put measures in place to mitigate against any risks identified. This may well be the same as previous risk assessments carried out when re-opening after the first lockdown but it is worth reviewing this in light of the new guidance.
  • Carry out a revised risk assessment and put measures in place to mitigate against any risks identified. This may well be the same as previous risk assessments carried out when re-opening after the first lockdown but it is worth reviewing this in light of the new guidance.
  • Although it is not a mandatory requirement CNHC advises Registrants to continue wear a Type II facemask (a medical-grade 3-ply face mask) where you cannot maintain 2 metres social distancing when treating your clients. You should also encourage your clients to wear a face covering.
  • We advise Registrants working in the ‘high-risk zones’ on the face to continue to wear a clear visor or goggles and a Type II face mask, and to keep treatment time to a minimum.
  • Although social distancing is no longer a legal requirement, the government recommends the following for those working in close contact services:
    • Let clients know virtually that you are ready to see them (for example by sending a text message)
    • Ask clients to arrive at their scheduled time.
  • We advise you to continue to leave 30 minutes between client appointments, so that clients can leave without meeting other clients and to allow adequate time for disinfecting and cleaning between sessions.
  • We advise you to continue to encourage clients to wash hands or use sanitiser as they enter the premises. Ensure that you provide sufficient hand-washing facilities.
  • Treatment times should be kept to a minimum and should not exceed one hour for clients who fall into medium or high-risk categories, irrespective of their vaccination status.
  • The Government advises the following screening questions ahead of client appointments:
    – Are you required to be self-isolating?
    – Have you had the recent onset of a new continuous cough?
    – Do you have a high temperature?
    – Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell?
    If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, or they are being required to self-isolate, they should stay at home and reschedule their appointment.
  • Explain any new working arrangements to clients before they attend.
  • Please play particular attention to the guidance on ventilation (see Section 3). COVID-19 is an airborne virus so good ventilation is important. The Government recommends:
    - Fully or partially opening windows, air vents and doors to improve natural ventilation
    - If using mechanical ventilation, ensure settings are set to maximise fresh air and minimise air recirculation
    - Identify any areas of poor air circulation in your risk assessment and take steps to improve air circulation. The Health and Safety Executive has produced guidance on how to identify areas of poor air circulation and how to improve it during Covid-19 which you can find
    here.
  • We recommend that you also continue to:
    - keep waiting areas clear and not put out items that clients can touch such as magazines
    - ask clients to bring their own water to drink
    - ask clients to bring their own pen or you can supply a pen which you should sanitise after use if they will be required to sign or write anything.
    - continue to use contactless payment where possible or ask clients to place cash in an envelope.
  • In line with the new Government guidance we recommend that you continue to take steps between clients to sanitise, ventilate and change couch roll, towels or similar. See Section F of our COVID-19 advice for Registrants 'Steps to take between clients'.
  • We recommend that you continue to take steps to maintain hygiene and dispose of items safely at the end of the day. See Section G of our COVID-19 advice for Registrants 'Steps to take at the end of the day'.
  • If you work in other people’s homes:
    - Communicate with clients in advance about how you can work safely to reduce risk for both yourself and the client and any other family members.
    - Do not work in a client home if the client or any other members of the household is self-isolating, in quarantine or has any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Test and Trace:It is no longer mandatory to require clients to book in using your QR code or on paper. However, you can continue to request this to support NHS Test and Trace. See Section H of our COVID-19 advice for Registrants "Testing and Contact Tracing".
 
Contact us
We have emailed CNHC Registrants practising in England with this information. If you did not receive it or have any questions or queries, please get in touch with us by emailing info@cnhc.org.uk