Update after Covid restrictions being lowered
We've done further risk assessments and given the risk factors that are still very much active, we will be following the advice from the British Acupuncture Council, requiring masks to still be worn in close quarters - ie at all times whilst in the Clinic. If you wish to attend are exempt and can't wear a mask, then please contact the relevant Clinic BEFORE turning up for your appointment, as professionally we have to consider all users of the Clinic, some of whom are Clinically Vulnerable.
We are hugely grateful for your consideration on this- thank you.
Another season... another variant!
Following the Government announcement that the Omicron variant is now in the UK and that mask wearing will be compulsory in shops and on Public Transport, we are taking the opportunity to revise our risk assessments and adjust them accordingly. We already have robust management systems in place to reduce the risk of infection, but it's always best practice to revise regularly and update where necessary. This has brought up the tricky situation of masks and those not able to or not wanting to wear a mask, weighed up against the safety of other Patients, Clinic Users, Staff, ourselves and our families.
One reason cited for mask exemption is for people with Disabilities or for those who are Medically Exempt. There is no legal requirement for anyone to prove their disability/medical exemption nor is any practitioner legally able to request proof of these.
Disability is what is called a protected characteristic under The Equalities Act 2010. A
definition of disability is a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and
‘long-term’ negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities. (British Acupuncture Council April 21)
Under this definition it can be seen that there is both a case for those who cannot wear a mask and for those who, due to their vulnerability, require masks to be worn by all Clinic users and possibly command an even higher level of precaution - eg in those who are immunocompromised.
So how do we traverse our way through this????
A risk assessment is a tool to help us through...
All practitioners should now be operating risk assessments to identify risks and how to manage them.
As a result, both Clinics have taken as many reasonable adjustments as possible, in order to accommodate the majorities needs and safety. We operate this at a high level and this is a proactive duty to ensure that patients and potential patients with disabilities are not substantially disadvantaged when accessing acupuncture services.
In the UK, we now find ourselves with a new variant of Covid and tighter guidelines on PPE are being implemented in a couple of days time. This is on top of everything else. A priority has to be the safety of Patients, Staff & other Clinic Users - this is the basis of the Risk Assessment. My own personal circumstances have also changed (I have various vulnerable/frontline NHS worker family members to consider) and having taken everything into account, I'm having to implement a protocol that requires all those coming for treatment to wear a mask at all times whilst in The Clinic. If you are Medically Exempt or have a Disability that prevents you from wearing a mask, then please contact me by email here. In the circumstance that we may not be able to accommodate your treatment at The Clinics, we will always offer to try to help you find an alternative Practitioner. The best way of going about this is to go to search facility here - The British Acupuncture Council
Although restrictions have been lifted in the UK, across all Clinic's we are maintaining PPE, masks etc. We are also requiring all Patients to wear masks unless medically exempt. This is to protect all users of the Clinics. If you are medically exempt and wish to not wear a mask, please contact the Clinic BEFORE turning up for your appointment.
All Clinics maintain their Covid 19-Secure Status and follow strict guidelines over cleaning and safety.
If you have any queries, particularly if you are vulnerable/immuno-compromised, then please do email email@example.com . Updates when appropriate can be found on the Facebook Page and on my Google Page