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Health First and Covid 19 coronavirus

**UPDATE 22/6/20**

We would like to say a big thank you to all our clients who have been patient with us during lockdown and for their understanding of the changes we have had to make to our business to ensure that we can continue to see them safely at this time.

We have now cleared the backlog of patients whose appointments we had to postpone during lockdown. It has been nice to see everyone and get their feet comfortable again so that they can be pain-free and keep active.

Also thank you for all the positive feedback about our new additional clinic room that has been designed to make it as Covid-safe as possible:

Please call us on 01926 811272 if you have any foot problems and we will organise an appointment for you following a telephone triage. We look forward to seeing & helping you.

**UPDATE 30/5/20**

Following further lifting of lockdown restrictions, we are now able to see all categories of patients providing we follow proper infection control & PPE guidance. As posted in the previous update email, we have created a super-safe treatment room for our patients so that they can be completely reassured during any face-to-face consultations (please see our video below). Home visits and video consultations are also available for those who require them.

We will be calling all our patients who were due to be seen in the last couple of months. Please bear with us during this lengthy process, but if you require an appointment then just phone us on 01926 811272 and leave a message if there is no answer and you will be called back asap. We will start with a telephone triage to ensure it is safe & appropriate to make an appointment for you, and then we will be following as closely as possible the process shown here and we ask for your understanding & assistance with this as safety really is our number one priority:

For those who wish to understand the treatment categories that we have been moving between over the past few weeks, and may have to do so again if there is any “second wave” of the Covid-19 virus infection rate, please take a look at this document from our professional body by clicking this link:  College of Podiatry Treatment Grid

In order to sustain a viable business going forwards so that we can continue to provide the highest levels of service to you, we have had to introduce an additional charge of £20.00 per face-to-face appointment at this time. We have called this our Covid cover charge and it includes the telephone triage, additional PPE requirements, increased time allocation per appointment, and thorough room/vehicle cleaning after each appointment.

In addition, for those who have unfortunately had to go longer since their last appointment, your tier of care may change for possibly one treatment only. There is a difference of £10.00 between each of our treatment tiers.

To partly offset these charges, we have decided to postpone our annual fee increase which covers normal cost increases incurred by the business.

Thank you for your understanding at this time. We will continue to serve you and do our best to keep you safe.

 

**UPDATE 17/5/20**

As the Government change their Coronavirus lockdown rules, the College of Podiatry responds with new guidelines for us to follow in order that our patients can get the care that they need whilst minimising the risk to themselves and to others. As Podiatry (Chiropody) is the only “Foot” profession regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), this basically means that the standards of risk assessment, clinical facilities, and level of care are the highest possible.

By following those National guidelines, and by advocating that the safety of our patients is our number one priority, you can be assured that you are in the best & safest possible hands for treatment of your foot-related problems.

To add to this at this time, we now have constructed possibly the safest clinical treatment room in the region. Please take a look at our video here:

So for anyone requiring treatment during the pandemic, we will telephone triage you first and then discuss available options following the College of Podiatry & National guidelines.

You do not need a referral to see us, so please call 01926 811272 – leave a message or email us at health1first@aol.com and we will get back to your promptly.

**UPDATE 16/4/20**

As lockdown is extending, our lead Podiatrist Jonathan Small has been busy phoning every patient that was booked to see us over the past 3 weeks to check how they are and give advice on how to avoid foot problems at this time. He will carry on doing this each week that lockdown continues.

For those who require it, video consultations are available, and foot care products are also being sent out as necessary, including antibiotics, antifungals, and orthotics/insoles if appropriate.

Any emergency or high risk patients will be triaged as to whether they should be seen in person, and if so, then the PPE guidance will be followed as shown below.

If you want to speak to us leave a message on 01926 811272 or email health1first@aol.com. Keep safe everyone.

**UPDATE 3/4/20**
We now have the ability to do chargeable video consultations online to supplement our existing free telephone triage service and free online “Find Your Foot Pain” service.

Video gives us the ability to remotely assess & advise upon any new foot-related condition or reassess any existing ones. We can monitor progress and supply direct to your door any required products that are safe & effective for home use. You can also order foot care products directly at www.firstaidforfeet.co.uk.

So please leave us a message on 01926 811272 or email health1first@aol.com so that we can help you keep mobile, active, and pain-free as safely as possible. This ensures that your foot-related problems are not a drain on NHS resources at present.

For those patients whom we triage as requiring treatment in person at this time, we are following the National Guidelines explained in the infographic below, and have been doing this & more to protect our patients since before lockdown.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our business, and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Patient Guidance fro The College of Podiatry

**UPDATE 24/3/20**
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of lockdown at 8.30pm on 23/3/20, we are having to shut our clinic except for those patients with an absolute medical need to see us. There are many exemptions, but predominantly this means those with moderate and high risk diabetic feet, and those who have foot ulcers and/or acute foot infections.

If you are in the middle of a treatment plan with us, then this can be resumed once we are able to see you again. If you require interim advice, then we can provide that over the telephone. If you require any foot care products, then please order them from www.firstaidforfeet.co.uk and they will be sent directly to you.

If you have a new foot problem, visit our free online service at www.healthfirstsoutham.yourfootpain.co.uk for helpful information. However if you require a video consultation to assess, diagnose, and give best advice at this time, then this can be arranged.

Please call us on 01926 811272 to discuss your requirements. Leave a message for us, and someone will get back to you promptly. If you are eligible to attend clinic,  then please follow the advice on social distancing given below.

We wish you all well and encourage you to follow Government regulations & guidelines to keep yourselves and others safe.

Information from 19/3/20:

I hope this blog finds you well and coping okay with the current virus situation.

As a frontline healthcarer, I am still able to treat you in order to prevent you developing a more serious foot problem that could put pressure on NHS resources.

We are doing everything possible to keep our patients and staff safe, but need your help with doing this, especially with regard to social distancing. So please can we ask you to do the following if possible:

1. Arrive through the door of the clinic exactly at your appointment time – wait in your car or on the patch of gravel outside our clinic if necessary.

2. Upon entering, immediately apply the handgel that we have available on the reception desk.

3. Take a seat in the waiting area away from anyone else who may also be seated, although by insisting on people arriving exactly on time (not early or late), we are hoping to avoid any crossover.

4. Your treatment will be provided as usual, but we will try to maintain social distancing, including finishing your treatment in time to avoid crossover with the next patient.

5. Pay with card rather than cash or cheque (or we can email an invoice for bank transfer).

6. Leave the clinic promptly – we sincerely apologise that this means we may cut short any social chat at this time.

7. Postpone your appointment if you or anyone you have come into contact with are showing ANY signs of Covid-19 coronavirus infection.

8. If you need to cancel your appointment, please can you give us as much notice as possible so that we can plan the knock-on effect to others.

By following all of these, we hope to be able to continue to provide podiatric healthcare for the most at-risk in our population, as the last thing they need would be an acute foot problem because we had to close the clinic.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions or queries or require any assistance with anything at all, please do not hesitate to call us or reply to this email. We are here to help you if we possibly can.

Keep safe and best wishes.
Jonathan Small – Lead Podiatrist – Director

 

We believe it is important that as many people as possible follow the current UK Government guidance on what to do if they are affected by COVID-19 coronavirus, so we are sharing this information to our customers. Please click this updated link and read what it says:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Here at Health First, we have always made the safety of our customers an absolute priority. This also applies to our staff and we will be following any up-to-date guidance should any of us show symptoms of infection. If you need to cancel any appointment you have with us, then please let us know with as much notice as possible. Likewise we will do the same.

We are doing everything currently available to us to help to keep you safe at this time in any physical contact you may have with us. This includes us maintaining our high standards of infection control such as:

  • REGULAR HANDWASHING
  • WEARING SINGLE-USE GLOVES
  • ONLY USING STERILISED INSTRUMENTS
  • DAILY & WEEKLY CLEANING PROCEDURES

In addition, we have increased the extent & frequency of our surface wiping and we have made hand gel available for your use if you visit our clinic. You are also welcome to wash your hands upon entering or leaving the premises.

If you don’t already have an appointment and would like to have your foot-related problems treated before any potential lockdown, then please get in touch for a prompt appointment. For those who do not wish to attend our clinic, then whilst the UK Government allows it and neither our staff nor anyone in your household shows any signs of infection, we are happy to visit you at your home should you require treatment. Please call us on 01926 811272 if you would like to discuss this option.

We intend to continue to supply footcare products directly to your door by Royal Mail should you require them. We have good stock levels, and these are all safe for home use to help to keep you comfortable in the event of you not being able to be treated by ourselves or your usual foot care provider. Please call 01926 811803 for a brochure or order directly from www.firstaidforfeet.co.uk.

Rest assured that we will be packing any orders in our clean facility and with washed/sanitised & gloved hands. We are continually exploring ways to reduce our use of plastic for the benefit of the environment, and you will notice further changes to our packaging as suitable alternatives become more readily available. If there are any items you require that are not listed on our website, let us know and we will do our best to get them ordered in & delivered to you promptly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or require any further information.

Thank you for trusting us to help you. Keep safe.

Jonathan Small
Lead Podiatrist & Owner

  1. Pam Alexander on March 24, 2020 at 6:12 am

    I was expecting this Jonathan. I was going to postpone my appointment today anyway. I wish you and your staff all the best at this difficult time and I will see you as and when things change for the better.

    • Health First Southam on April 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you. Please keep yourself safe and we will see you again hopefully in the not too distant future.

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