We are mindful of concerns regarding Covid-19 and wanted to write to you to address any questions you may have. As practitioners in an allied health setting, we would like to reassure you that we are committed to the health and safety of all visitors and have put in place several measures as precautions.
However, we’d first like to state that we remain available to conduct your therapy sessions as normal, in our therapy room at our practice.
This is a stressful time for many and we can, and will, continue to support your mental health and wellbeing as we always have done. It is easy with the demands of life and the ongoing commentary (the useful and factual information we need to observe i.e. #flattenthecurve and the unhelpful discussions) to demote your wellbeing. We encourage you not to.
What precautions have we implemented?
- Handwash/soap is available in all bathrooms.
- Hand towels are replaced daily.
- We wash our hands thoroughly between each appointment and will refrain from shaking hands.
- High frequency touch areas such as door handles therapy rooms are cleaned between each session.
- Tissues are available in our waiting area and in therapy rooms.
- Toys and art therapy equipment will be cleaned after use while some will simply be put away until this period passes (i.e. play dough, slime)
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer is on back order because like most people, we’ve been unable to source any beyond what we already had (and have now used).
- Paper towels are also on back order as we’ve faced the same issue above.
- Reading material in the reception area will be removed as will children’s play equipment and books.
- The high touch areas in the kitchen, reception and bathroom will be cleaned twice a day.
What implications are there in terms of privacy?
In the event that our staff or any of our clients or visitors (as the case may be) contract Covid-19, we may be required to disclose names and contact details of people we have been in contact with to The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), as well as the nature of our contact. We will protect your privacy in as much as is possible, whilst giving necessary information.
Our commitment to you
- We will take precautions and regularly review our health and safety procedures in order to protect our practitioners and clients.
- In the event that one of us are ill but fail to meet the criteria for testing, we will remain home for 14 days as advised by the The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for Health Care Workers (HCW)
- In the event that any of our team contract Covid-19, they will self-isolate until they are confirmed clear of the virus and offer all sessions online if they are well enough.
- Please note that a practitioner will not work if they are not well enough, particularly if they have a cough, which can be disruptive to your session.
- In the event that we find out AFTER the fact that a client or colleague has had contact with someone with Covid-19, I will advise you, via email or phone and we will discuss whether in person or online sessions would be appropriate for you.
- We will be as informed as possible and direct you to suitable sources where your questions are outside of my expertise.
- We request that you wash your hands thoroughly upon arrival at our clinic.
- We request that you bring and use your own hand-sanitiser if possible, particularly while we’re waiting to restock our own.
- We request that you bring a cover to the practice to place on the therapy chair and over the armrests.
- We request that you try not to spend a prolonged period of time in our waiting room. We can offer you a service where you are sent a text when your clinician has finished their prior appointment and is available to see you. That way you can remain in your car and come straight to the therapy room when your clinician is available. Please advise your clinician if you’d like that service.
- We request that you do not visit the clinic for at least 14 days if you have returned from countries with outbreaks listed here even if you do not have any symptoms. Instead, organise a video session to allow us to continue continuity of care.
- We request that you do not attend your appointment face to face, if you are unwell with any cold, cough or ‘flu like symptoms. If you do attend with any such symptoms, you may be asked to return home. Please instead organise a video or telephone session.
- If you are experiencing mild symptoms but would like to still attend, we will use reasonable efforts to offer the appointment online. We will ask you to complete an Online Therapy Contract if you have not already.
The following Session Fee Policy continues to apply:
Session Fee Policy
As per our standard Session Fee Policy, we ask that you make every arrangement to be able to attend your session in person. However, if you are unable to attend for whatever reason, we will accommodate your session via video or phone. Regardless if you choose to attend your scheduled sessions, you will be responsible for the session fee.
If your practitioner is unable to attend the session for any reason, we will advise you by email or phone at the earliest opportunity. While our practitioners are not immune to contracting Covid-19, we will still be able to offer our services via phone and video.
We are here to help you move through your client journey and thus, will continue as much as possible as business as usual. If this means we need to move our sessions from face-to-face to video for a period of time, we are prepared to do so.
A final word…
We are here to support you and will try to be flexible wherever possible. If you are not concerned about COVID-19, we need not take time in your session time to process the situation. Likewise, if you are experience increasing concern, we can spend time focusing on strategies to support you. I would like to reassure you that whatever your reaction, you will have space to express in our appointments together if you would like to.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact me or discuss in our next session.
Kirstin Bouse, Director / Clinical and Forensic Psychologist