Following the government announcement of a national lockdown in England from 5 November, we offer interim guidance to members on the likely implications of the new lockdown regulations.
The CSP is advising members in all sectors that they can continue to run physiotherapy services during the national lockdown, unless the government explicitly instructs them to stop treating patients. All relevant public health rules relating to social distancing and PPE must be followed to keep clinicians and patients as safe as possible.
Draft lockdown regulations are not expected to be made public until Tuesday 3 November.
To give members outside the NHS the clarity many have asked for, the CSP has sought assurance from Public Health England that all health care can continue in England. We continue to press for this confirmation and have been advised that it has to come from the Cabinet Office.
The prime minister signalled that non-Covid NHS services would continue to run during lockdown. Health services, including those in the charity and private sectors, continued in higher level areas of England when restrictions were applied.
Services based in gyms, leisure or sporting venues, and all non-clinical services, are expected to have to close in England during the lockdown period. Some very limited exceptions may be granted for organised therapy sessions for people with long term conditions or mental health issues.
*Clarification in relation to clinical services based in gyms:
Gyms, leisure and sporting venues will close during lockdown in England. Some physiotherapists provide healthcare from clinics based within these venues. It is our current understanding that, whether physiotherapy services can continue will be down to local negotiation with venue owners to address issues such as access. Members should also check with their insurance broker to ensure cover.
As clarity is provided by PHE or the government, the CSP website will be updated.
Services in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland are not covered by the new regulations.
- health care has not been stopped in Wales during the current firebreak, but services linked to gyms and sports venues may be affected
- health care has not been stopped in Northern Ireland, but services linked to gyms and sports venues may be affected by closures of these venues
- health care has not been stopped in Scotland (see - https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/overview/ )
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