HOW ARE WE PREPARING FOR A SECOND WAVE? Will we need to close again?
Before reopening after Lockdown, The VeinCare Team completed a deep clean of the clinic and all members of the VeinCare Team undertook enhanced training in relation to infection prevention and control with particular reference to COVID-19.
We are now COVID-secure and we are delighted to welcome you back to have vein treatment in our safe healthcare environment. We come to work only when we feel well and after we have had our own temperatures checked and recorded when we arrive.
Throughout the day, we wear a disposable surgical mask and eye-protection (only removed when eating or drinking), we maintain social distancing and we regularly wash our hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel, in line with WHO Guidance. These measures are followed by all staff (even in the administrative office) and they are aimed to keep you and ourselves safe in the clinic.
We are in a rural location, a little bit off the beaten track and we have a large carpark just outside. We have staggered appointments to ensure that you will not meet the patient before you as they leave or the patient after you as you leave. When you arrive at our clinic, you will notice that the door is kept locked. Only one patient is admitted into the clinic at a time. You will need to ring the bell and then you will be allowed in by a member of staff. Before the nurse opens the door, she will have sanitised her hands and she will be wearing a mask and eye-protection. Once inside the building, the nurse will take your temperature and if this is normal she will ask you to confirm that you feel well and she will ask you to apply an alcohol-based hand gel and to put on a new disposable surgical mask which we will provide. You are welcome to sit down or use the toilet.
The nurse will escort you to the consulting room where I or my colleague will see you. We now wear surgical scrubs, masks. Before I examine you I will sanitize my hands with alcohol gel and don appropriate PPE.
At the end of your appointment, the nurse will escort you to the front door, you will be asked to place your mask into our clinical waste bin and you will be invited to gel your hands before your leave. The nurse will open the door for you so that you do not need to touch any surface after you gel.
We have always had a strict cleaning regime, with monthly, weekly and daily cleaning schedules and a twice yearly deep clean of the entire clinic, but now we have an enhanced cleaning schedule between every patient appointment and we have allowed extra time between patients for this to take place. After each patient leaves, the chairs and equipment that have been used for the consultation are cleaned. In addition the waiting room chair is wiped down and the toilet is cleaned after use by both staff and patients. The stair banister is also wiped down after each patient leaves. Every possible “touch point” is cleaned. So when you arrive, you can be assured that you can touch any surface with confidence.
The number of cases of COVID-19 may rise and fall for many months. It is possible that severe peaks may results in new restrictions being imposed and eased for some time. Will these restrictions affect the clinic and will we need to close?
Well, firstly, unlike the situation in March, PPE is not in short supply now and so we are not in competition with the NHS for masks, alcohol gel, disinfectants and other important clinical supplies.
We have adequate supplies of PPE and related items for the weeks and months ahead.
Secondly, we now know a lot more about COVID-19 transmission, and we are confident that the measures we have in place in our clinic are keeping our staff and patients safe now and that they will continue to keep all of us safe even in the event of a serious second wave.
Thirdly, we are COVID-19 Secure and as a healthcare facility, The VeinCare Centre is exempt from the need to close under the current legislation.
So, given that the situation is very different now compared to that in March, as well as the fact that we have already seen significant deterioration of our patients’ veins during the first lockdown, The VeinCare Team will keep the clinic open even in the event of a serious wave. If you have appointments booked, please be assured, we will remain open.
While COVID-19 remains prevalent, we will not treat facial veins because it involves very close face to face contact. We will provide this service as soon we judge that it is safe to do so.