This blog is about how the Coronavirus has changed us and our practice, for the better we think. We hope you agree. It also explains what to expect when we re-open and how it will affect our team and you, our patients.
Things have changed...
At the end of March this year our small town in the Derbyshire Peak District practically shut down and most of our lives changed in extraordinary ways. For us, our small podiatry clinic shut its doors to all our patients, except those with foot ulcerations and acute ingrowing toenail infections. To be honest, this is not our usual work in private practice. Mainly these problems are seen in the NHS.
However, not wanting to waste an opportunity to improve ourselves and our business (we have decided to see the positives in not doing our usual work, rather than the negatives) we have been working hard behind the scenes and have made, what we think, are improvements to the clinic, with re-painting, changing colours, producing a patient information file and new framed posters on the walls. Upstairs we’ve created ourselves a staff/meeting room so we no longer have to sit huddled around the reception desk. What you won’t see are the new processes and procedures we’ve put in place to help the clinic run more smoothly and improve our customer experience. As always, this is a work in progress!
Looking at re-opening, but things will be different.
As the government has lifted some of the lockdown restrictions, and providing the R value remains less than 1, (R being the number of people one person with Coronavirus will infect) then will re-open on 8th June 2020.
How will things be different?
Not all services will be available
Services on offer will be limited at this time. Warm Wax Therapy and Lacuna Method for Fungal Toe Nails won’t be available. Foot pain assessments will only be available if you are a key worker or carer who is struggling to fulfill their responsibilities because of foot pain.
Ways of booking
We ask that you don’t present in person at the clinic to book an appointment, for social distancing reasons. The reception area is small and we want to continue to limit the number of people inside.
If you use our online booking facility then please fill in the reason for your visit (This is not a mandatory field on the online booking form, but not for lack of trying, and we have had to admit technology defeat!).
The best way to book is over the telephone or email us.
Don’t be alarmed!
We will be looking a bit different than you are used to (not only because we have not been able to have a hair cut! Or the fact we have treated ourselves to new uniforms!)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
For your safety and ours we will be greeting you in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This will include, a visor, a mask, and an apron. We will put gloves on after washing our hands and before starting your treatment.
Social Distancing, Hand Hygiene and Payment
We are all getting quite used to social distancing now. To allow us to maintain social distancing of 2 or more metres, please don’t arrive early for your appointment. Please arrive on time. We will ask you to use the alcohol hand sanitiser as soon as you arrive, before heading straight through to the treatment room. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the masks that we will make available for you. (Or you can bring your own).
We would prefer it if you settle your bill with a card payment if possible, to avoid us handling cash.
We will ask you to use the alcohol hand sanitiser before you leave.
The impact of Coronavirus on our business
Coronavirus has impacted our business massively, as it has with most businesses in the world, small and large. Internal changes to the way we run our business have had to be adopted: Longer appointment times to don (put on) and doff (take off) our PPE; Extended gaps between appointments, so we keep the number of people inside to a minimum and maintain the social distancing rules. Both measures mean we cannot see the same number of people in a day as pre-COVID19. The cost of extra PPE, that we would not normally wear, such as masks and visors, and the cost involved in the extra cleaning materials will continue to impact us for months to come. This is the reason we have needed to increase our prices earlier than usual, from 1st June 2020 (normally we would increase our prices once a year on 1st September)
Some of our services will not be available.
We will be wearing full PPE when you arrive.
You’ll be asked to use alcohol hand sanitiser. We will provide gloves and masks. If you have a mask or a scarf you can wear around your nose and mouth we would encourage you to do that.
We prefer if you avoid paying cash if at all possible.
Coronavirus has impacted our business in many ways and we cannot currently operate in the same way, for this reason we have increased our prices from 1st June 2020.
PLEASE NOTE - if you are requesting an appointment please weigh up the pros and cons of attending an appointment, against the risk of contracting Coronavirus and how this could impact on your health, especially if you or a member of your household are in an at-risk group. We will, of course, be trying our very best to provide a safe environment for you.
Best Wishes, Fran, Helen and Emily