It is early June 2020 and the clinic has opened again after a long closure. What does the new normal look like for Hexham Family Chiropractic? This article explains all the hygiene measures we have brought in to minimise the risk to patients of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
How risky is a chiropractic adjustment during the pandemic?
On one hand, chiropractic treatment is very hands on. Like a haircut or a visit to the dentist, there is no getting away from this fact and this is why Russell wears PPE. On the other hand, the brevity of a chiropractic adjustment works in its favour. Short exposure times have been shown to be far safer than prolonged exposure and a chiropractic appointment takes between 5 and 15 minutes. Your first appointment will be your longest – you might be with Russell for up to 40 minutes.
“Thank you for yesterdays back adjustment. Very much needed. Even in these difficult times I felt safe and comfortable. Great team thanks again.” – Karen Dixon (Facebook)
“Thank you for my visit yesterday. I felt very safe with the measures you have in place.” – Michael Buchan (Facebook)
Pre-visit guidelines for patients
We have changed the way we run things in order to minimise risk. Read on to find out what our guidelines are for patients at Hexham Family Chiropractic.
Please don’t call in unannounced
We used to love it that our patients would sometimes just call in. Unfortunately those days are over (at least for the time being.) Please call 01434 602666 if:
- You have arrived late for appointment
- You have any type of inquiry
- You would like to arrange to buy supplements
We need to vet you in advance
Everyone who visits the clinic must have answered the following two questions before they attend their appointment. This will apply to all visits until further notice:
- Have you had close contact with or cared for someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
- Have you experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days (to include fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing, loss of the sense of smell or taste)?
At the time of writing we are unable to see patients who have been advised to shield themselves, but we have been given the green light to see anyone who is in the ‘vulnerable’ category.
The waiting area is not in use
We’re sorry. We’re asking patients to wait in their cars or outside if they’re early. If it’s raining and you can get to your treatment room without crossing paths with anyone you’re welcome to wait in there.
Please give each other a wide berth
If everyone keeps out of each other’s way, the only person you will be within 2 metres of is Russell. This helps minimise the risk for everyone.
Go straight to your treatment room
We have three in use and we have labelled them all clearly. The day before your appointment you will receive a call or text informing you which room you’ll be in.
How we’re keeping the virus at bay
There is no avoiding the fact that you and Russell will be very close, but his mask fits him well and is of high quality. He wears gloves and an apron which he changes between patients. In addition to this we are:
- Insisting on hand gel use on arrival (or wash your hands)
- Cleaning the rooms between patients
- Taking everyones temperature on arrival
- Keeping the doors and windows open for ventilation (remember to wrap up warm.)
- Keeping visitor numbers to a minimum – please don’t bring anyone with you unless it is absolutely unavoidable.
Please pay by contactless card where possible. Our limit is now £45, and if necessary we can split a payment into two transactions. Alternatively we are accepting:
- Cash in a sealed envelope. Please write your name, the date and the amount on the front before you visit the clinic.
If a chip and pin transaction is unavoidable, don’t worry. We clean the keypad after each use.
Why are masks optional for patients?
The WHO now advises that people wear masks in enclosed spaces like shops, and the clinic is an enclosed space. However, Russell has noticed that when patients lay face down on the bench their masks become dislodged and need readjustment. This means patients end up with germs on their hands, detracting from the effectiveness of the mask. Given this fact, and the brevity of your visit to the chiropractors, it seems to us that masks may not be beneficial in our setting. We have made masks freely available in our reception area, by all means pick one up if you prefer to wear one. Mask use is advised for health care practitioners and that’s why Russell wears one – it fits him well and he takes care not to fiddle with it
This is our new normal.
The same warm welcome as before awaits you at Hexham Family Chiropractic. As of 15th June the whole team is back at work – Nancy, Kay and Russell. We are as friendly as ever from behind our masks, and are ready to rise to the challenge of keeping our lovely patients safe during these altered circumstances. This summer the clinic celebrates 25 years in business. We are so grateful to our loyal patients who have been very quick to adapt to this new heightened state of germ awareness – thank you everyone for your cooperation.