Spring Cleaning My Professional Practice.

From the title of this month’s article you might be forgiven for thinking I am getting out dusters and polish, mops and buckets to clean my therapy room. I have de-cluttered and cleaned my therapy room to the extent I would quite happily invite the bug police ( should they exist ) to enter and swab to their hearts delight in an effort to find any bugs, viruses or nasties of any description.

The spring cleaning I have been recently engaged in has been focused on looking at how I might up-date my practice once permitted to re-open. From the start of this pandemic I and all other therapists have needed to change the way of working. To meet Government and professional governing body guidelines I have undertaken extensive private and NHS Covid training. I have carried out rigorous risk assessments to insure minimal risk to myself and patients. Installed protective screening, wearing of PPE and cleaning time between appointments are just some of the new procedures in place to provide a covid-secure environment.

During this latest lock-down I have looked objectively at how I might improve the Complementary Therapy experience I offer to the public. I began by reflecting on The Fortuneswell  Clinical Reflexology Service I deliver with my two colleagues at Dorset County Hospital Cancer Service. I have over the years built in systems to ensure constant review of this service by means of collecting feedback. Annual patient survey’s, annual staff engagement events, and Clinical Audits all have supplied data to inform a  NHS DCHFT Clinical Reflexology Governance Policy and Procedure Document and annual Fortuneswell Cancer Trust FCT Clinical Reflexology Reports. Data has informed service development including identifying a need for a Complementary Therapy room where patients can confidentially discuss any worries whilst receiving chemotherapy and reflexology. Adjusting working hours by operating a running rota which ensures each reflexologist at least two days rest between shifts to support mental (and physical) wellbeing during the pandemic. Revision of Consent Slip/Evaluation Form and the up-dating our NHS Patient Information Leaflet.      

From April 12th I will be asking every private practice patient to fill out a Consent Slip/ Evaluation Form. To obtain feedback and measure the quality of the service experience I provide from the patient perspective. (*PROMS & PREMS are medically recognised research tools)  I revised my Patient Information Leaflet paying particular notice to language. It has been brought to my attention that as a Complementary Practitioner I am not permitted to advertise Bioresonance or Vega testing to determine “medical conditions” such as Allergy or Food Intolerance. This official ruling is due to there being a lack of conclusive evidence from published double-blind studies** that electrodermal or any method other than restriction diets can effectively identify food intolerances. To ensure that I don’t unwittingly break advertising codes I have made changes to my “Treatments” web page and all advertising.

My website “TreatmentsClinical Reflexology and Health & Lifestyle Consultancy describes in detail the therapies I offer, what patients can expect from a consultation/treatment, its cost and duration. “Appointments” can be made via my website for Clinical Reflexology or Diet & Nutrition Advice or Lifestyle and Stress Management Advice. Throughout my long career as a Complementary Practitioner I have strived to conduct myself and my business in a highly professional manner in accordance to the rules of membership of several governing bodies I adhere to strict codes of practice/conduct and I will continue to do so.

Spring cleaning of any description can be a very positive experience it has helped me to focus and identify what needs to change and action changes that will enable me to continue to move forward.

*Patient Reported Outcome Measures. Patient Reported Experience Measures.

**Double-blind studies are more often used in drug trials as they are particularly useful for preventing bias due to demand characteristics or the placebo effect.