Patient News for April 2021: 🦠 the story continues… … it does seem to be a rather long and perhaps not terribly interesting story, doesn’t it?!!
We are reopening from Monday 26th April 21. This depends 100% on Aberdeenshire being relaxed to Level 3 regulations.
As before, we still have to work with an eye on safety for everyone, patients and staff alike. Also as before, we will continue to work whilst making the assumption that anyone and everyone is potentially a source of coronavirus infection - this way because we have already taken all necessary precautions we won’t have to close if someone reports shortly after they’ve been in that they have covid-19 symptoms, and more importantly we will not then have to phone a whole day’s patients to tell them that they need to isolate for 14 days too… still better all round really! When you see the changes we have made, including the PPE worn, be assured it’s for this reason (ie it’s not at all personal to you!). We should all then be able to remain Covid-19 free.
What’ll we be offering?
Well – the fridge is full, and the cupboard is full, so injectables will be pretty much all fine, both for existing patients and new ones.
Distance - there will be at least two metres (usually more) between doctor and patient during the discussion phase. It works best with patient sitting on the treatment couch, and doc sitting in the lobby. Direct line of sight to each other but a goodly distance apart.
Ventilation - window and doors open as much as possible to allow movement of fresh air through the treatment room.
PPE - as before we will wear PPE appropriate to the situation when required to be close to patients. Patients can help by wearing a face covering as able - clearly this will not be possible all the way through for everyone!
We will continue to decontaminate everything between each patient (more stringent than ‘standard’ infection control measures). It takes about 10-15 mins to do - Mrs Mop is my (not so) new name… 😩
Otherwise, steps we are taking to keep safe are:
NO Pre-appointment screening - we will not now be phoning the day before an appointment. Following the last lockdown, all of our patients were very kind and honest, and any who were in any doubt about their safety stayed at home. This was much appreciated, and in anticipation of it continuing to be the norm, we will not trouble you with an extra call. Gillian will text or email a couple of days before you come, just as a wee reminder to consider whether or not you have any symptoms.
Short appointments where possible 🗓- minimizes exposure to another ‘household’. This means less chatting from me (possibly the most difficult part of this whole thing! 🤐)
Limited use of clinic space - we will use only the small entry lobby and the treatment room for now, so that I am able to decontaminate absolutely everything in between patients. This will mean unfortunately that there will be NO ACCESS TO TOILET FACILITIES ⛔️ 🧻 for the time being in clinic.
One patient only in the clinic at any time - if you need to bring friends/family members they will unfortunately need to wait in your car if safe to do so, again apologies for this.
Doc will be wearing PPE 😷 - usual green scrubs, plus apron, gloves, mask +/- visor. … if you were wondering “who doesn’t look good in a plastic apron?” then I can still answer that question for you when you come! No change there – still not thin!
MASK – as the patient, please could you wear a mask, we can remove it if required for treatment/assessment.
At the door Screening questions and 🤒 temperature check (in-ear thermometer) will be done at the door, before you come in.
GEL station for hand cleansing upon arrival. 🧴 2 metre social distancing ⬅️2m ➡️ will be observed.
PAYMENT 💰 with card is preferred - we can still take a cash payment if this is absolutely necessary, but please, if you can pay with a card this would be ideal.
As you can see, it will feel a little bit different from normal when you come to the clinic, but pretty much the same as before Christmas. Hopefully not intimidating or worrying for anyone - I hope that the explanations above help to clarify why we have had continued with these measures. Over time I hope that we will be able to return to normal, but how fast this happens is impossible to say at the moment.
What happens next? What about laser treatments?
We are pretty much offering everything as normal now for injectable treatments. I’ve been doing a bit of research into laser treatments, which are not considered safe as yet unfortunately. Laser safety experts are of the opinion that laser hair removal and laser tattoo removal are both considered aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), so are not allowed at the moment. Debate is ongoing about whether scavenging systems for collecting any spray/smoke produced during such treatments are actually helpful/reduce the risk - it seems they may actually make things worse. In very practical terms, the big lasers also have fans, filters, nooks and crannies and would be ideal places to miss a few virus particles here and there when cleaning. So on balance and with apologies, there is no chance of restarting any laser treatments at the moment - it may be well into the latter part of the year before this becomes available again. 🤞🏻 Again no new patients being accepted at the moment for tattoo removal, and no new patients being started at all for hair removal.
I’m having laser hair removal, can I make an appointment for this? NOT YET. This will unfortunately be one of the last treatments to return, as it is classified as an aerosol generating procedure (AGP) - there are often tiny particles of hair released during laser hair removal, hence the aerosol generating classification. We are not allowed to do anything aerosol generating unless as an emergency procedure at the moment, which clearly this is not. Apologies, we have no idea how long this will take at the moment.
I’m having radio frequency treatment, can I make an appointment for this? Again, NOT YET, we will resume this treatment when able, but this will need to wait until we return to standard infection control procedures rather than full decontamination between patients. Apologies, we have no idea how long this will take at the moment.
I’m having laser tattoo removal, can I make an appointment for this? Again NOT YET. This will unfortunately be the last treatment to return, as it is classified as an aerosol generating procedure (AGP) - there are tiny spatters of blood during laser tattoo removal, hence the aerosol generating classification. We are not allowed to do anything aerosol generating unless as an emergency procedure at the moment, which clearly this is not. Again apologies, really not able to say at the moment how long until this will become available.
Can I bring my kids with me? Very happy for them to wait in your car, but sadly they cannot come into clinic at the moment.
How will payment work? You will be able to take your credit card receipt at the time of payment, and I will record the payment in the receipt book later on as normal. If you want me to send the written receipt to you by post then please just let me know.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon, please bring stories of great excitement with you when you come!! I am sorely in need of hearing about other people living exciting lives 😊 Take care in the meantime,