To our dear patients and carers
COVID-19 UPDATE 23.03.20
Further to our most recent communication dated 18th March 2020, your health and safety remains our highest priority. From midday Monday 23rd March, the following guidelines will be implemented at Valley Osteopathy:
- All appointments will be separated by a 15 minute window to minimise contact and waiting times. This will ensure our team can uphold stringent hygiene and cleaning practices. It will also allow us to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being met.
- Only the patient may attend the appointment within the clinic. One other person may enter if they are the carer/parent/guardian.
- If you arrive early to your appointment, we ask that you stay in your car and only enter the clinic at your allotted time.
- We also ask that you pay using card where possible to minimise our cash handling requirements
For the protection of our team members and our community, including osteopaths, reception and patients, we ask for your continued cooperation regarding the following:
- Our team has been formally authorised to reschedule and/or refuse treatment to anyone presenting with a fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue associated with illness. We also reserve the right to take the temperature of any patient entering the clinic.
- Any patients or staff that have travelled internationally will not be permitted in the clinic for 14 days after their return.
- Any patients or staff that have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or someone awaiting COVID-19 test results will not be permitted entry to the clinic for 14 days. Close contact is considered to be 15 minutes face-to-face interaction or 2 hours within a closed space with someone who is a confirmed case or gets symptoms within 24 hours of you visiting them.
We are committed to your health and safety and will continue to support you where we can. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic on 9437 6268 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work together to ensure you receive the very best service we can offer you.
I am here for you…WE are here for you 💚
In strength and support,
Osteopath / Clinic Owner and Director
18 March 2020
Dear Patients and Carers
WE’RE HERE TO HELP (PLEASE READ)
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) will have impacts on the health system for the weeks and months to come.
Please read this letter carefully, even if you are not a current patient of our clinic.
The Valley Osteopathy team is here to assist the wider community through this time, and will remain open. Plans have been put in place for continuity of patient care, and a number of scenarios planned for in case of Local, National or International Health Department directives which may come in the coming weeks and months.
Pain and issues with your body don’t take a holiday, and can increase with stress and anxiety. We have you covered.
The good news is the people attend our clinic because they are in pain, not because they are sick.
Current advice is that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is small when receiving osteopathic treatment, provided all patients and carers read the below advice and act upon it. We all have a role to play here.
As allied health practitioners, we envisage that we will be needing to “take up the slack” for patients who may be unable to undergo elective surgery for pain conditions in the next 6-12 months, so it is paramount that our staff and clinic remain operational during this time.
I understand that some may be anxious about attending treatment, so I thought I would answer some questions you may have.
What have we done to combat the virus and keep staff and patients safe?
We have a large stockpile of antiseptic wipes, alcohol-based sanitiser, cleaning products, and have put in place enhanced measures and processes to our already diligent sanitisation and cleaning processes for the health and safety of everyone within our clinic.
I have advised our team about their responsibilities both at the clinic and away from the clinic, to remain healthy. I have advised them that if they are in any way feeling unwell, to stay home.
The virus is most effectively combated by hand-washing with soap for 20 seconds and frequent cleaning of surfaces, so you should add this to your routine immediately, as we always have done and will continue to do. The virus is surrounded by a layer of fat, and breaks down with soap, detergents and alcohol-based solutions. We have removed all but essential treatment items off our shelves, desks and floors so that more efficient cleaning can occur on a more frequent basis.
I am unsure if I should attend my appointment.
We ask you to be upfront and honest about your travel history, and potential exposure, to ensure that all staff and patients (especially our elderly and immunocompromised patients) remain healthy. This does not mean that you will be unable to be treated, it just means that everyone is aware of any precautions that need to be taken, including treatment positioning or techniques used.
Yesterday the Australian Government announced that all international arrivals need to self-isolate for 14 days on their return. It is an offense not to comply with these new guidelines. Therefore, all patients, carers and staff attending Valley Osteopathy who returned from overseas as of yesterday are required to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of which country they have travelled from.
The Government also imposed a ban on non-essential gatherings of over 500 people. This currently does not apply to private healthcare practices. Therefore, we will continue to be open as per our normal hours of operation, until further notice.
We understand that some patients are choosing to remain at home and cancel existing appointments in an effort to align with social distancing. In this instance please ensure you notify us if you will not be attending. Please contact us if you would like to explore the option of a telehealth consultation.
This is an evolving situation and we will keep you updated as things change. Our priority is to always ensure the health and safety of our amazing patients and team.
What is the current advice if you are not a returned traveller, nor had contact with COVID-19?
Current advice is that you are safe. Person-to-person transmission in the community is not yet posing an issue, but this could change rapidly, so please keep updated with current health and Government advice. We will do the same and update you accordingly, as best we can.
Australia is in a good position to handle this threat due to our isolated location and current healthcare system, and because we have had more time to prepare, compared to other countries.
Modern humans have an inherited herd mentality, and its influence is being felt throughout society today. We simply want to feel safe and prepared. But this is not a time to be stupid and inconsiderate. Don’t think you’re the exception. Don’t do things that benefit you, at the expense of others.
The goal now is to flatten the curve:
- To slow the spread of the virus until our hospitals can handle them.
- To prevent the unnecessary spreading of the virus.
- To prevent unnecessary overloading of medical professionals, emergency services, airlines, and other critical infrastructure, so that the people who actually need it can access it.
No one individual can accomplish this by themselves, but each of us, acting rightly, collectively, can make a big difference. Now is the time to offer compassion, support and gratitude for our communities and loved ones.
This too shall pass. In the meantime, above all, be kind — to each other and yourselves.
We are keeping up to date with the latest advice from the World Health Organization and will let you know more as soon as we do.
I am here for you… WE are here for you! 💚
In strength and support,
Dr Sarah Holland
Osteopath / Clinic Owner and Director