The beginning of May sees us, along with the whole country entering a seventh week of lockdown and we are all hoping for a lightening of the restrictions soon.
At Dulwich Podiatry we always put the health and safety of our patients first. The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has brought about unique and concerning circumstances and we are taking the time, this month, to let you how we will be keeping you safe when the clinic opens its doors once more.
During lockdown, Debbie, our Clinical Director, has been triaging calls and seeing urgent and emergency cases. We have launched our new video consultation service, which enables us to offer help and advice on a number of different conditions. We will be continuing this service when normal business resumes.
As a clinical environment, we didn’t have to change much in order to meet the strict hygiene standards warranted to minimise the risk of contagion from Covid-19.
As we reopen, we will be spacing out our appointment times to enable social distancing within the practice. Our waiting area is compact and bijou and, as such, we intend to use it as little as possible during this period. Please attend your appointments unaccompanied if at all possible. Having more time between appointments also gives us the opportunity to deep clean all areas of the clinic between patients.
When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to give permission for a thermal scan. If you exhibit an elevated temperature, we will ask you to reschedule your appointment. We have sterilising hand gel available at the reception desk which our receptionists are actively encourage patients to use upon entrance into the clinic. The receptionists use this and also wash their hands frequently to the tune – of course – of “Happy Birthday to you”. They are cleaning the payment machine and any other item with which we share contact with high strength antibacterial wipes between each patient use. We are encouraging use of card payments where possible but will still accept cash. We have a Klenz machine within the practice. This is usually used for decontaminating footwear for our patients. During the pandemic it has been very useful in decontaminating other items, including cash. Petty cash is decontaminated at the beginning of each day so you can be assured that if you are given change it is “clean money”.
While the pandemic continues, you will see our receptionists wearing masks and gloves and we have a “sneeze screen” in use. We also ask that you wear a mask during your time in the clinic. Please don’t be offended if the receptionists and podiatrists keep conversation down to a minimum during this period. This is for your safety: lots of talking affects the integrity of the masks. Likewise our podiatrists will be in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with Public Health England and professional body guidelines.
Atop of our routine clinical hygiene procedures we are we are making efforts to keep patient to patient contact to a minimum by bringing patients into the clinic rooms with minimal, if any, waiting in reception. The additional time between patients will allow us to control patient flow back through reception after your appointment.
We would like to remind all our patients that given the service we provide, a large number of our patients are elderly and particularly vulnerable to infection, and our absolute priority is to maintain the safety of our clinical environment for both them and our practitioners. We ask that if you or anyone in your household exhibit any symptoms of the virus, including continuous cough or a high fever, please cancel your appointment and reschedule after a period of self-isolation, as advised by the government.
As you can tell, we are working hard to keep you safe, whilst maintaining the high quality podiatric service you expect from Dulwich Podiatry. We thank you for your cooperation in keeping both our team and all our patients safe at this difficult time.