With the likelihood of the UK entering a ‘delay phase’ via ‘social distancing’ by going in to lockdown in an attempt to delay the Coronavirus (COVID-19) coronavirus spreading, this information is about continuing to support you safely in therapy during this worrying time.
We take our duty of care to you very seriously. The things that brought you to therapy will still be there alongside this new concern and we can continue working together on them either online or by phone should the need arise.
- Please adhere to the NHS guidance on coronavirus, and find the latest advice from the Government about coronavirus
- If you are experiencing any cold/cough type symptoms then please let me know before the session and we can arrange for a video/phone session where possible.
- If you are tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please notify me (Janine) as soon as possible, as there is a duty of care to inform other clients that a counsellor here has been in contact with someone who has tested positive. This helps with containing, regarding self-isolation. Your personal details would remain anonymous to other clients. If you are feeling well enough, we can arrange a video or phone session during self-isolation where possible.
- If a counsellor here becomes symptomatic or test positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) then they will notify you too and can arrange a video or phone session instead where possible.
- Due to the shortage on hand sanitizer, please feel free to bring your own or you are welcome to wash your hands with soap and water on your arrival/departure if you so wish and paper towels will be offered for you to dry your hands.
- Please also feel free to bring your own water bottle if you would prefer, however water will continue to be offered and cups are thoroughly washed in hot soapy water as usual.
- All door handles, switches, taps, hard surfaces and resources are now being wiped down with antibacterial and antiviral spray before and after each client as opposed to at the end of each day. Floors are being sprayed and steamed daily.
- Please place any tissues in the small bags provided and then dispose of them in the bin provided.
Coronavirus Contingency Plan
- You will be required to complete the online therapy informed consent form before we could commence therapy in this way.
- If the need arises then you will contacted by phone at a convenient time by your counsellor to discuss this and set up a mock meeting with as much notice prior to your session as possible, so that you feel comfortable working in this way prior to the session.
- The online platform that we use is Zoom, which is encrypted and can be accessed via phone or computer from an email link invite from me.
- The time taken to set up and feel comfortable on the video call will not constitute part of your 60 minute session.
- If you would prefer to use another platform or your phone then we can discuss these options prior to the session starting.
- Should the technology fail then your counsellor will contact you by phone or email as soon as possible to rearrange the session or continue by phone if you would prefer.
- Payment fees would remain the same and we can supply account details for Bank Transfer where necessary. However, should you start to experience financial difficulties as this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, this can be assessed on an individual basis. Should our technology fail then dispensation regarding fees or further free session time can be discussed on an individual basis.
- As per our existing contract, counsellors have a clinical will in place. Therefore, if your counsellor becomes too ill to hold sessions or contact you, then a designated supervisor or myself will contact you on their behalf to help you navigate through this unplanned break. As per our existing contract, the supervisor only has access to your name and contact information in the event of me (Janine) not being able to practice or contact you. This is an ethical requirement in order to uphold our commitment to your care and safety.
The British Association of Counselling and Psychology (BACP) have confirmed that there is a legal obligation to breach confidentiality should I test positive for the Coronavirus (CORVID-19) as a matter of public health and safety.
‘Public interest is the general welfare and rights of the public that should be recognised, protected and advanced. Disclosures in the public interest, based on the common law are made where this is essential to prevent a serious and imminent threat to public health, national security, the life of the individual or a third party, or to prevent or detect serious crime…This is relevant If you contact the virus and are obliged to inform the NHS of people you’ve been in contact with’ (BACP)
Therefore, counsellors will be required to give a list of names and contact numbers to the NHS of anyone that they have been in contact with. Please be advised that we will not be disclosing in what capacity/context we have come into contact with you, so they will have no idea that you are a client in therapy.
Being in isolation/quarantine has its own emotional challenges and whatever you need to work through, your counsellor will continue to be available via online meetings for as long as necessary and possible.
If you would like to discuss anything within this contingency plan or feel that further information needs to be added, then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best wishes during this difficult time and please reach out if you need to.