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Risk Assessment for re-opening Surbiton Osteopaths

Background to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current pandemic caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2, resulting in COVID-19 disease, has resulted in many changes in our everyday lives. 


It is currently understood that the virus spreads mainly through the respiratory tract via a direct inhalation of droplets, and indirectly from contacting infected surfaces and then touching one’s face. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, sputum production, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of sensation of smell or taste. Some may not develop any symptoms.  

We take the health of our patients and our practitioners seriously and have produced this risk assessment document for safe re-opening of the Surbiton Osteopaths clinic.


Identified areas of risk

Suggestion of changes to improve the risk

  1. Minimising risk from home and travel to the osteopathy room

       Patients are requested to attend their appointment with as minimal exposure to COVID-19 as possible on their way to the clinic  ->

      Please arrive directly from home, freshly showered and wearing freshly laundered clothing.

      Patients wishing to shop on the day are politely requested to do so after their appointment.

  2. Patient entering the clinic via Surbiton Natural Health Centre: Health Food Store & Clinic

      We are not in control of the shop’s policy and how other people behave -> 

      Patients should consider the entry through the shop as an unregulated, at risk, public space. The toilets are part of the shop (these 

      are cleaned every 2 hours).

     Should you wish to enter though the fire exit/ back entrance, please make prior arrangements with your osteopath.

 3. Minimising traffic in the waiting area (shared by other practitioners)


     Patient will be able to enter the treatment room without having to wait, please do not arrive early.

 4. Minimising transmission

     Every patient is to fill in a COVID-19 triage electronic form before their in-clinic appointment.

     Please cancel your appointment should you develop symptoms.

     Patients in the high risk/ shielding group cannot be currently treated. 

 5. Minimising contact time during appointments

     Patients to fill in a symptom triage form before every appointment.

     New patients – 1 hour appointment split into 2 parts – 1st part consisting of approximately 20 minutes of case history taking on the phone;

     2nd part consisting of 30 minute in-clinic/ face-to-face appointment; both to happen on the same day when possible or within 

     24 hours.


     Please try to avoid bringing a family member with you to the appointment. Chaperones are also requested to complete COVID-19 triage form in                    advance. 

 6. Virus transmission from inanimate surface to human

     Removal of all soft furnishings and unnecessary items prior re-opening.

     All soft furnishings removed and/or replaced with wipe-able surfaces and use of paper roll.

     Allow aeration of treatment room for 15 minutes with the door open (with the use of a single extractor fan for the first 10 minutes as no                    natural air current).

     Disinfecting of all surfaces between treatments with recommended surface cleanser.

 7. Virus transmission from patient to practitioner

     Triaging and minimising contact time, see point 5.

     Patient to sanitise hands on arrival in the clinic room.

     Patient to be provided with a barrier mask from that point.

     Practitioner to use PPE as guided by PHE (Public Health England).

 8. Virus transmission from practitioner to patient

     Minimising contact time, see points 4 and 5.

     Practitioner to test temperature daily and monitor other COVID-19 related symptoms (including members of their household).

     Practitioner to arrive directly from home, freshly showered and wearing freshly laundered clothing.

     Practitioner to change into clinic freshly laundered attire. 

     Practitioner to change their top between patients.

     Practitioner to wash hands and forearms before and after every patient. 

     Practitioner to use PPE as guided by PHE.

     Gloves, apron and paper rolls to be disposed in closed-lid pedal bin located outside the treatment room, and double bagged for 

     3 days before disposal. 

     Any linen used will be changed between patients, double bagged for 3 days before washing at recommended highest temperature. 

 9. Payments

     Payments are preferred by bank transfers.

     Cash to be stored separately for 3 days before handling.

10. Minimising transmission II

      After treatment, patients can chose to exit via the shop or the fire exit on the rear side of the building, leading to 

      St. Mark’s Hill. 



 i.    Practitioner training completed prior re-opening


       NHS Coronavirus Infection Control

       COVID-19: Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines


       Donning of PPE, Public Health England

       Removal and Disposal of PPE, Public Health England

       Public Health England PPE Guidance

 ii.   Definition of high risk/ shielding group

  • People who have been diagnosed with and are receiving cancer treatment

  • People who had an organ transplant or require one

  • People with severe respiratory conditions

  • People with rare genetic diseases and inborn errors of metabolism

  • People who are immunosuppressed or on immunosuppression therapies

  • Pregnant women with significant heart disease

 iii.  How to triage patients

       Patient to fill in a triage form prior to every appointment. 

       Appointments split into 2 parts when first one in via telephone triaging prior to face-to-face contact. 

       Face-to-face care cannot be offered to anyone in the high risk/ shielding group; anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19; 

       anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 less than 7 days ago and hasn’t symptom free for more than 2 days.


 iv.  Practitioner develops symptoms of COVID-19

      Practitioner must cancel all face-to-face appointments and must self-isolate for 7 days. 

      Any patients seen within 60 hours of the onset of symptoms must be informed.

 v.  Patients suffering COVID-19 symptoms

      Patients must cancel their in-clinic appointment and will be offered online consultation.

 vi. Patient develops symptoms of COVID-19 within 60 hours of face-to-face care

      Patient must inform the practitioner by phone immediately.

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