Guidance for resuming clinical work during the coronavirus

Government Covid-19 guidance in England has been updated. Government advice is based on the assessment that the peak of the outbreak has passed and the lockdown measures can begin to be slowly and carefully relaxed.

Resuming face to face working with clients / patients needs to be assessed based on government guidance and registrants’ clinical judgement and personal circumstances. The new BPC guidelines can be helpful when considering making the decision and on how to proceed once patients are coming back to the consulting room.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus and your practice can be accessed  below.

Guidance and resources

The Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO) has updated its guidance on privacy and security for therapists providing online therapy during Covid-19.

We continue to publish on our website registrants’ psychoanalytically informed reflections about Covid-19 or/and their experiences of adapting to working psychoanalytically during the pandemic. If you would like to share your thoughts, please email us. We aim at providing a psychoanalytic thinking space to reflect on how the lockdown and the pandemic are affecting psychoanalytic work. The contributions received so far can be accessed here.

Funding and grants

As well as the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, made available by Government through Mind, a number of Community Foundations and other organisations have launched funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the many challenges of the pandemic. For example the National Survivor User Network has grants up to £1000 to support peer support, community action and mutual aid for mental health during Covid-19. A list of a wide range of organisations and the types of funding they offer is available here. Some may be relevant to mental health services.

NHS workforce wellbeing

*Correction* It appears that the link to NHS Practitioner England events page in last week’s email was corrupted. This has now been corrected. Please also be aware that the BPC updates are also available on our website.

Campaign to Maximise the role of Counselling and Psychotherapy

We have now the support of some Parliamentarians and Peers who have also added their name to the 10,400 signatures to our letter to Matt Hancock. If you have not signed yet, you can still do so by clicking here.

How to contact the British Psychoanalytic Council

The BPC team is now working remotely. We are still operating as usual but bear with us if there are some delays in replying to your queries as we adapt to the new working arrangements.

We are doing everything we can to make this transition as smooth as possible and we will get back to you. To enable us to do so, please contact us by email in the first instance Please provide your name, contact details including a phone number and your query. We will aim to respond within 48 business hours, Monday to Friday.


Opening for clinical work in the consulting room

Registrants’ decisions about when and how to return to seeing patients in person will be made taking into account their own situation and individual factors. We have consulted with the leading insurance companies in the field – Howden and Towergate – that have stressed the importance of keeping up to date with government guidelines in respect of working practices. The BPC always recommends contacting insurers if in doubt. The following guidelines should be helpful when considering making the decision and how to proceed once patients return to the consulting room.

BPC strongly recommends that government guidelines about the correct social distance [2 metres] are followed, and that registrants remain aware of the updated general government guidelines.

When patients return to the consulting room, ensure that:

  1. The patient can gain access without needing to be greeted at the doorstep if it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart.
  2. There is access to handwashing facilities on entering, with individual single use handtowels.
  3. Hand sanitiser is provided wherever possible.
  4. Where the patient’s head will be, on the couch/chair, is 2 metres away from the clinician’s seat, even if this means not sitting directly behind the patient.
  5. All handles and relevant hard surfaces are disinfected between patients.
  6. There are different coverings for the couch/chair which are changed between patients.
  7. The coverings and handtowels are removed cautiously, placed in a plastic bag and washed after use.
  8. The clinician’s hands are washed after touching these.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Your Practice and Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions


Coronavirus guidance and resources

Update: latest coronavirus (COVID-19) training and general clinical work guidance
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