12 March 2020
We are aware that the spread of the coronavirus is causing anxiety and concerns amongst patients and our Registrants. The Government has said the coronavirus outbreak is an increasingly significant threat. We advise Registrants to keep up to date with the latest advice from the Government which is available here and we encourage Registrants to use their professional judgement and assess risk to deliver safe care, informed by relevant guidance and the values and principles set out in our professional standards.
We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, Registrants may need to depart from established procedures to care for and ensure the safety of patients. Our regulatory standards, relating to concerns about Registrant conduct, will always consider the specific facts and external environment of the case.
Registrants need to work cooperatively with colleagues to keep people safe, to practice in line with the best available evidence, to recognise and work within the limits of their competence, and to have appropriate indemnity arrangements.
The NHS guidance on coronavirus provides information on what you can do to prevent the spread of the virus and actions to take if you have any symptoms. This guidance also provides advice if you have recently travelled to a country with cases of the coronavirus. Call the NHS 111 phone line if you need medical help.
Registrants should consider how they might make hand washing facilities more visible or available. Ensure you wash your hands when entering the consulting room.
We advise discussing contingency plans with your patients in case either party becomes affected by the virus. When drawing up your plan, you might consider the following:
1. How you will communicate and update your patients if you contract the virus
2. What your patients should do if they experience symptoms of the virus
3. Explore the possibility and security of alternative means for the therapy, for example telephone or online
4. Discuss measures you will implement where you are unable to provide face to face therapy or alternatives
Advice for businesses and employers can be found here.
We will keep you updated when we can provide further assistance.