Updated: Nov 12, 2020
COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected us all in some way or another, so I thought I’d try and answer some of the FAQ’s that have been asked over the last few months. The information on this page is accurate, to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. However information is changing all the time so I will endeavour to update this blog regularly.
Are you open?
Yes I am. At the start of the lockdown period Podiatry clinics were specifically mentioned by Government as essential businesses where anyone with an emergency foot problem could get an appointment to reduce the burden on the NHS and the spread of SARS-CoV-2 during this time non-essential treatments had to be postponed.
Can I have an appointment now?
Yes, following guidelines from our governing body - The College of Podiatry, all patients will now be triaged into red, amber and green categories. We are now able to treat ALL categories. If the situation changes and further lockdown is implemented then this may change. I will of course keep you all updated.
Are you reducing the treatments you are able to offer at the moment?
The advice from our governing body is to restrict treatments which cause a risk of infection, this however will be dealt with on an individual basis. For example yesterday I performed nail surgery on a patient as the risk of not having the surgery outweighed the risk of having it. Please note that I am able to prescribe you antibiotics if you have suspected infection.
What precautions are you taking to make sure I’m safe?
It’s really important to me that you feel as safe as possible when coming to Deva Podiatry so this list is by no means exhaustive but here are some of the things that are being done. Every door handle and surface including the floor that you may have touched gets wiped and cleaned down before you arrive following the last patient. Extra time between patients to avoid patient overlap. You can now make contactless card payments again reducing the risk of touching the keypad, however the glass screen of the keypad is cleaned following anyone touching it if you do need to use it. There is hand sanitiser for you to use upon entering and exiting the clinic. I’ll cover PPE in another question. Please ask me if you have any questions about this, as I want you to feel as safe as possible.
Are you charging a Covid-19 Care surcharge?
No. I have though long and hard about implementing a temporary surcharge to every appointment to help to cover the increasing costs of PPE and the extra time that has been given between appointments to prevent patient overlap. I have, however decided against a surcharge as I know that times are hard for everyone. I have just added my usual annual April price increase which this year is just £2. If my suppliers prices keep increasing then this may be subject to change.
Is it possible to contract COVID-19 in the clinic?
It is extremely unlikely but yes, despite our enhanced infection control procedures, it is still possible to catch COVID-19 while at Deva Podiatry.
Podiatrists have always had very high standards of infection control, wear PPE as standard and have mandatory infection control training annually. When I set up Deva Podiatry, my mantra was to provide a service and clinic that I could be proud of and I have always worked to strict guidelines - so I feel well placed to keep you as safe as possible.
Could I contract COVID-19 from the podiatrist?
It is extremely unlikely but yes, you could. I use PPE following guidance from both Public Health England and the College of Podiatry. To date I have had no symptoms associated with COVID-19 and would follow the government’s guidance if I or anyone in my household developed symptoms.
Could I contract COVID-19 from other patients?
Again it is extremely unlikely. I have allowed extra time between patients so you shouldn’t cross paths with another patient while at Deva Podiatry. For anyone who arrives at clinic by car I would ask that you stay in your car until your appointment time. If you arrive on foot please arrive at your appointment time. All patients will be asked about their health when they book and are asked to cancel if they or anyone in their household develops symptoms of COVID-19 between booking and the appointments date. Every surface that patients may come in contact with or that I’m in contact with during their appointment will be decontaminated.
How do you treat me while adhering to the 2m social distancing rule?
In reality I can’t. This is why I have had a sneeze screen installed and wear appropriate PPE - to help keep us both safe.
What happens when I arrive?
You will be asked to wait in your car if you are early and only enter the clinic at your appointment time. There are gaps between appointments to allow for extra decontamination and avoid patients crossing paths. Hand sanitiser is to be used upon entering the clinic and leaving if you wish.
Should I wear a mask?
I would prefer you to wear a mask if you are comfortable doing so. I have some masks in clinic if you would like one.
Can I bring someone with me?
You will be asked to attend the appointment on your own where possible. Children will need to attend with one parent. Those patients who require a chaperone, assistance or translators are of course able to bring someone with them. It would be helpful to know this in advance.
Can I use the clinic toilet?
Please plan to avoid using the clinic toilet if at all possible. However it is no problem if you do need to use it I will make sure that it fully decontaminated following use.
How do I contact you?
The same way as usual. The clinic landline is currently re-directed through to my mobile, so if you don’t get an answer please leave a message. Email is also a good way to get in touch with me. If you haven’t heard back from me in a couple of days please try again as it won’t have been intentional.
Does COVID-19 affect the feet?
One day I’ll do a separate blog just on this subject as it’s really interesting. Some patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have reported having chilblain like lesions on their toes. You are not, however, currently recommended to self-isolate if you have a rash on your toes.
Why do you wear so much PPE?
Deva Podiatry is following both Public Health England’s tables 2 and 4 as well as the College of Podiatry’s guidance. Podiatrists wear PPE as standard - many patients are used to seeing me in an apron, gloves and sometimes a mask.
Someone in my household has been in contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19 should I cancel my appointment?
Yes. Deva Podiatry has a strict COVID-19 policy. If anyone in your household has been in contact with a confirmed OR suspected COVID-19 case, then you are requested to cancel your appointment. If you have an urgent need for Podiatric care, I advise you to ring 111.
If I cancel my appointment because of COVID-19 symptoms, will I need to pay a cancellation fee?
Under normal circumstances, a fee is charged if you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours notice . This fee will be waived if it is for COVID-19 reasons. This is to encourage you to stay at home if you or someone in your household has or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 related symptoms.
What happens if you or I come down with COVID-19 symptoms after the appointment?
Anyone with symptoms needs to arrange a test as soon as possible. https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test If you or I have a positive test, tracing contacts will be managed by Track and Trace. I am currently working as a clinical caseworker with Track and Trace so I know the drill. However it is unlikely that you or I would be considered a contact as I wear appropriate PPE.
How can I help Deva Podiatry?
Thank you to all my patients and colleagues who’ve checked up on me. Running a business during a pandemic is a new experience. The guidance is ever changing. Please be kind to all small business owners. Something that would help my small business, if you have the time, is to leave me a review at https://g.page/devapodiatry
Written: 5th June 2020