Published on the 6th of November 2020.
Following the Government announcement outlining plans to enforce a 4-week lockdown commencing 5th November, we have reviewed the legislation passed in parliament on Wednesday. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 has now been published which includes a list of which businesses and venues can remain open to the public. It includes;
Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.
The guidance reflects the same measures that were in place in June, therefore, we have sought advice from The Department of Health to verify whether the same exceptions for healthcare professionals who provide cosmetic interventions remain valid during this lockdown period.
This evening the Department of Health has confirmed that this is the case and stated that:
Personal care services provided for medical and health treatment may continue. The guidance on safer working in Close Contact Services should be followed. The Guidance can be found here.
Where applicable, practitioners should also take into account any guidance issued by the healthcare regulators or a relevant professional body.
The Government cannot provide comments on individual cases of whether or not a business is permitted to open. It is for each business to assess whether they are a business required to close having considered the Regulations and guidance on business closures. The Guidance is linked here.
Save Face is a register that is exclusive to regulated healthcare professionals, our standards and accreditation model stipulate that our members operate their practice in accordance with a medical model that have clear clinical guidelines and protocols to which they must adhere to.
It is not our position to advise our members whether or not to open or close during this period. Our role is to review the legislation and guidance issued by the government and assess how that applies to our register and our membership. In making that assessment, we never communicate any interpretation without verification. Where the guidance is not clear, we engage with regulatory bodies to ensure that we issue factual information that safeguards the public, our members, and, our register.
We appreciate that there are difficult decisions to be made, we would advise that all practitioners conduct a thorough risk assessment in order to inform your clinical decisions.
If you choose to remain open you must ensure you have taken and can evidence all the precautions we have recommended and further, that you can evidence a clear medical model in your practice; this would include patient selection, assessment, consultation, consent, with all being documented in the medical record. This medical model should also be reflected in any marketing or social media communications.
If you have not yet completed the online declaration, please click here to complete the declaration agreement in order to be issued with the Save Face Covid-19 Operational Protocol Certificate.
Our Clinical Director Emma Davies shares her own decision making;
‘Like many, I have been watching the stats on the spread of Covid fearing for all the economic, social and mental health consequences. With news of a second lock-down in the run up to Christmas, I too had to consider my options and obligations as a business and as a healthcare professional and found myself conflicted- the demand from patients and the imperative to continue to operate, knowing my clinic and operating policies keep myself and my patients safe, against my broader obligations to play my part, personally and professionally in supporting the ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS’ messages.
There is no legal requirement for our clinics to close, but what are the moral and professional obligations to public health?
I have made the decision to communicate the following to my patients ‘As a regulated healthcare professional able to operate to safe standards in a safe environment, I am not required to close for this lockdown period, however, I do have a duty to play my part in protecting public health and so would encourage all my patients who feel they can wait until December to trust me to do my very best to accommodate everyone before Christmas.
In the meantime, I do recognise that for some, the treatments I provide are seen as very important for psychological well-being and for those who are anxious about their treatment plans, I will be available for on-line assessment and limited appointments for those who have an urgent need for treatment and care which cannot wait four weeks, and subject to assessment.’ I have reorganised my diary time in anticipation that most will respect this message and only book an appointment if needed.
This message. I believe, promotes the fact my service is safe and professional, respect for other businesses who may be suffering, whilst showing support and consideration for those who need to know I’m still here for them.’