Updated 16th January 2021
The first couple of weeks of face-to-face sessions have gone well and now we’re very happy to announce that we can ditch the masks in sessions!
HOWEVER, as we still have a lot of clients and some clinicians in the high risk categories, and we’re still acutely conscious of the importance of containment and harm minimisation, we are offering all our clients the choice to come in (and experience our exciting new infection control procedures!), or continue with telehealth (online or phone) sessions.
These are the things to consider when deciding on whether or not you want to return to face-to-face sessions.
1) Decision to Meet Face-to-Face
While we are now offering face-to-face sessions again, you do not have to attend in person if you would prefer to continue on with telehealth. Even if you do choose to return face-to-face, please understand that if there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise, we may have to return to telehealth and we may have to do so at short notice (as happened in June/July).
Please note: as of today, 1st January 2021, Medicare and Third Party Insurance providers (TAC, VOCAT etc) still say they will continue funding telehealth sessions for at least another 2 years from March 2021. If this changes, (and affects your funding) we will let you know.
2) Risks of Opting for In-Person Services
You understand that by coming to the office, you are assuming the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (or other public health risk). This risk may increase if you travel by public transportation, cab, or ridesharing service.
3) Your Responsibility to Minimize Your Exposure
- have a job that exposes you to other people who are infected,
- have a commute or other responsibilities or activities that put you in close contact with others (beyond your family), or
- live with someone who tests positive for the infection,
then you are not eligible for a face-to-face sessions at this time, so please let us know if you fall into any of these categories.
For those who are eligible for face-to-face services, to obtain these services, you agree to take certain precautions which will help keep everyone (you, me, our families, our clinicians and staff and other clients) as safe as possible from potential exposure and illness. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, we will have to immediately return to a telehealth arrangement.
Specifically, you must agree to:
- Only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free (no cough, sore throat or fever).
- Wait in your car (or outside the office) until admin texts you that your clinician is ready to take you through.
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you enter the building.
- Allow us to take a forehead temperature on arrival. If it is elevated (37.5 Celsius or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus, you will be asked to leave and may be charged a cancellation fee for the missed appointment (to avoid this, if you are showing any symptoms, please call ahead of your appointment and we can continue with a telehealth session).
- Check-in via the QR code in the reception area (or via the forms at reception).
- Adhere to the safe distancing precautions we have set up in the waiting room and therapy room.
- Keep a distance of 1.5 metres and there will be no physical contact (e.g. no shaking hands) with your clinician or with admin.
- Try not to touch your face or eyes with your hands (I know! It’s hard!).
- If you are bringing your child, please make sure that your child follows all of these sanitation and distancing protocols.
- Take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID.
We will notify you of any changes to these requirements.
4) Our Commitment to Minimize Exposure
5) If You Or Your Clinican Are Sick
We are (very obviously I hope!) committed to keeping you, me and all of our staff and clinicians safe from the spread of this virus. If you show up for an appointment and we believe that you are exhibiting virus-related symptoms, or believe you have been exposed, we will require you to leave the office immediately. We can follow up with services by telehealth as appropriate, but that session will likely be shorter than usual.
Your best option, if you’re unsure, is to stay home and
call to arrange a telehealth appointment.
If any of us staff or clinicians test positive for the coronavirus, you will be notified so you can then take appropriate precautions.
6) Your Confidentiality in the Case of Infection
If you have tested positive for the coronavirus, we may be required to notify local health authorities that you have been in the office. If we have to report this, we will only provide the minimum information necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the reason(s) for your visit. HOWEVER, we also ask that if you attend the office in person you check-in via the QR code in the reception area or via the check-in sheet with reception if you do not have a smart phone. This data is collected and stored by covidcomply.org and is compliant with Australian privacy regulations. All stored data is deleted every 28 days and only used to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a positive case.
If you have any questions about any of this, or are not happy returning to face-to-face sessions under any of these conditions, please call or email and discuss your concerns with our practice manager:
Trish (p) 0406-172-323 (e) firstname.lastname@example.org
And see you back in the office soon!
Director 12 Points Psychology