Helping children and families with their everyday lives During the Covid 19 outbreak.
"With regards to the COVID-19 Pandemic Children’s Therapy is following advice from the government and The Royal College of Occupational Therapy https://www.rcot.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-0 which is summarised as follows:"
- Provision of face-to-face therapy will be determined by factors including government guidance, the young person’s individual circumstances/needs and commissioning/employer requirements.
- The therapist will consider whether a child’s therapy needs can be met using digital approaches or working indirectly through teachers/support staff/parents. Clear clinical reasoning must be provided for face-to-face therapy.
- Where face-to-face therapy is required the therapist will gain consent from parents/carers (and schools where relevant).
- Prior to the appointment the therapist will contact the family/school to check whether children are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If so if the client is well and it is feasible therapy will be carried out using a digital approach, or if the client is not well enough the appointment will be cancelled. As per government advice the client and their family must isolate for 14 days.
- If the therapist or any member of their household are showing symptoms of COVID-19 if the therapist is well/available and it is feasible, therapy will be carried out using a digital approach, or if the therapist is not well enough the appointment will be cancelled. As per government advice the therapist and their household must isolate for 14 days.
- Occupational therapists who are visiting children and young people at home but not providing direct care should maintain standard infection control and prevention procedures and refer to PHE guidance for local authorities on home visits in children’s social care.
- This guidance states ‘When carrying out necessary face to face work ‘PPE is not required unless the people being visited are symptomatic of coronavirus or have a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus’. However, therapists will where possible maintain a distance of 2 metres and where this cannot be achieved will wear a mask and request that clients (over the age of 11) and their parents/carers do the same.
- For face-to-face appointments the therapist will ensure infection control procedures are in place and equipment is available for handwashing/cleaning. They will allow adequate time for cleaning their equipment and the environment between sessions.
- To further reduce risks Children’s Therapy will aim to limit the number of people they come into contact with e.g. by seeing children individually rather than in class.
- Consider environmental factors, for example sitting next to a child rather than opposite them and removing equipment that can’t easily be cleaned, completing sessions outside where possible.
- Schools should ensure they have procedures in place for social distancing, handwashing and cleaning of equipment to help prevent the spread of the virus.
- In England wearing a face mask/covering in schools is not recommended.