During the enforced lockdown brought about by Covid-19, I have been working tirelessley not only to offer telephone support to my clients, but also towards embracing the changes necessary to ensure that we can re-open – not only swiftly, but also safely. This has involved me liaising with fellow Audiologists up and down the country, scouring the legislation, sourcing suitable PPE and re-imagining the clinic workspace. The purpose of this blog is to update you all, and convince you that Steven Hale Hearing is indeed “Re-Opening with Re-Assurance”.
What advice have you taken during lockdown?
Lockdown has provided me with a tremendous opportunity to be in even closer contact with my Audiology and Otology professionals than ever before. I am a member of several governing bodies and networks, all of whom have been fervently seeking to successfully shape the ‘new normal’. The main sources of guidance for me in this instance have been; Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals, British Academy of Audiology, British Society of Audiology and British Association of Hearing Aid Audiologists. I have inserted links for each so that you can easily conduct your own research should you wish to do so.
What changes have you made?
By it’s very nature, audiology is very much a ‘hands on’ profession. In order to continue to best serve you in the provision of hearing health solutions, this will continue – allbeit with some very clear changes. I have always maintained an extremely high level of cleanliness and hygiene in the surgery, as is to be expected at my level of practice. However, the clinic, as you know, is a small workspace. I consider this to be positive, as it means that inter-visit sanitisation is simple and easily achieved. Also, official guidance talks about ‘contact points’, and the necessity to keep them immaculate. This is ideal for me because all of my surfaces are already of a clinical standard, therefore simple to successfully disinfect. One of the biggest changes you will note is that we cannot accept ‘walk in’ visitors – the surgery doors and the waiting room are now closed. We ask that clients attend the surgery 5 minutes before their allocated appointment (no earlier) and press the intercom marked “Sutton Medical Centre” where one of the nursing staff will escort you into the practice. You will be required to wear a properly fitting face mask – which must fully cover your nose and mouth. If you do not have one, one will be provided. You will also be asked if you or any family members are showing any signs of Covid-19 symptoms. Between appointments the on site nursing team will be sanitising all rooms. You will also note that I will be wearing full PPE. For our full policy, please click this link.
How will these affect me?
There will be very little adverse impact on you as a client. In fact, you will experience heightened clinical sanitation, and should feel safe in the knowledge that our re-opening can be re-assuringly safe. After all, your health and safety remain at the heart of what we do.
I am very proud to be able to declare that my practice is once again open. I am certain that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that you (and I!) are as safe as possible, and shielded from Covid-19 infection. Were I to have any lingering concerns, please be assured that I would not be re-opening clinic. Likewise, if you have any worries, I will welcome them, and promise that I will respond to well founded criticism with a willingness to change – after all, I am a committed health care professional.
“Thank you for your on-going support, patience and compliance. I very much look forward to seeing you soon”.