The VeinCare Centre Response to COVID-19
We remain open during the National Lockdown annouced by the Prime Minister on 4th January 2021
Before reopening after the first 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 continue to welcome you back to have vein treatment in our safe healthcare environment. In addition, 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 all wear a disposable surgical mask and eye-protection (only removed and replaced 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.
In response to COVID-19, we have had to alter the way we interact with our patients in order to protect you and ourselves.
BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
Please contact us before coming for your appointment if you have any of the following:
- A high temperature
- A new continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Please contact us to cancel or re-arrange your appointment if you have:
- Been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by another Healthcare professional
- Received a positive COVID-19 result
- Cold or flu symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, fever, aching joints or just feeling unwell generally)
THE DAY OF YOUR APPOINTMENT
On the day of your clinic appointment, we ask that you do your very best to arrive 5-10 minutes early. We have ample convenient parking, so please remain in your car until the precise time of your appointment, as we are unable to admit you to the clinic before this time. The reason for this is that we want to avoid the possibility that you and the patient before you come into contact with each other.
For the same reason, if you arrive late we may need to curtail your appointment session or make another appointment to complete your consultation or treatment.
We have asked the patients coming before and after you to be punctual. In the past, if you were to be unavoidably held up, we might have had a degree of flexibility if the person after you were willing to sit in the waiting room. Under the current circumstances, we feel that we must insist on punctuality. We appreciate that this means you may need to carefully plan your journey to the clinic and check the prevailing traffic conditions before you set off.
We now keep our clinic door locked, therefore, at your appointment time, please ring the doorbell and a member of the nursing team will come and greet you.
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 then she will ask you to apply an alcohol-based hand gel and to put on a clean surgical mask which we will provide. You will also be asked some COVID-19 screening questions.
If your temperature is raised or if you have developed symptoms we regret that we will not be able to see you on this occasion and will direct you to the current NHS COVID-19 guidance for testing.
If you wish to go to the toilet when you arrive, of course you can do so, but we ask that you keep your mask on, that you wash your hands before leaving the toilet and that you then apply gel again after leaving the toilet.
The nursing staff, Miss McGuinness and I will maintain a social distance as much as possible during your appointment, but there will be occasions when this is not possible. Therefore, we will wear appropriate additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves or an apron.
We have always had a strict cleaning regime, but now we have instigated an enhanced cleaning schedule between patient appointments 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. So when you arrive, you can be assured that you can touch any surface with confidence.
We would prefer if you came into the clinic for your appointment on your own, but we understand that there are occasions when you may wish to have someone with you in the clinic, particularly if it is your first time at the clinic, if you are very nervous or if you need an extra pair of ears to note what is said. We respectfully request that you have someone from your own household or within your “social bubble”. That usually means that you will come with a partner or relative. During the COVID pandemic we regret that we are unable to admit children to the clinic (under 18 years).
If you have someone with you who wants to use our toilet or have a drink, that person is welcome to do so. If you have a long appointment, that person may sit in our waiting room. We respectfully request that the person coming with you gels before entering and wears a mask while in the clinic. We do not provide reading material, but the person with you is welcome to bring something and take it away when you both leave.
Before you leave the clinic you will be asked to remove your surgical mask, place it in our “clinical waste bin” and gel your hands again.
These changes in the way we interact with our patients and visitors keep everyone safe. Before we temporarily closed in March, we prided ourselves in being welcoming and friendly. We are still the friendly team we were before lockdown and although we cannot shake hands and although you cannot see our smiles behind our masks, we really do want you to feel welcome when you come to the clinic.
These measures are essential to ensure your safety as well as ours.
These measures apply not only to patients entering and leaving the clinic, but also to members of staff, tradesmen, contractors and all visitors. If someone is coming with you to your appointment, please ask that person to read the information on this page.
There may be aspects of this new “patient journey” that you may find difficult or uncomfortable. For example you may not be able to wear a face mask or covering. We can discuss any issue that you have ahead of time and we may be able to vary the way we interact with you on a case by case basis taking into account your individual needs. Please let us know in advance of your appointment and we will do our best to help.
If there is any information or clarification you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us
Regrettably, cases of infections are rising and a National Lockdown is in operation as of 5th November in England. 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.
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 during the National Lockdown in England. If you have appointments booked, please be assured, we will remain open.
TREATMENT OF FACIAL VEINS
As the rate of COVID-19 infections is rising, we have suspended facial vein treatment. We will provide this service as soon as it is safe to do so.
TREATMENT OF HAND AND ARM VEINS
Enlargement of Hand and Arm Veins is not strictly a medical problem. Given that treatment is required over several weeks, and given the fact that travel restrictions may come into force at short notice, we will not provide this treatment to patients outside the South West region.