Face-to-face or not?

Management of face-to-face interventions in private practice and independent clinic settings during phase two of COVID-19 pandemic management

Interpreting the changing advice from the government

This guidance aims to provide you with a pathway to interpret relevant national guidance and work within the legal, regulatory and professional frameworks that govern safe physiotherapy practice when considering how to phase a re-start of your practice and its offer to your client group.

While each country and crown dependency is at a slightly different phase of re-starting services, all are preparing for a phased restart. Nowhere do these changes signal a return to ‘business as usual’, however, you will want to prepare your practice and its capability to offer face to face appointments when virtual means of delivering physiotherapy are not effective or appropriate. Our advice will help you to decide whether your practice is ready to restart beyond offering remote services.

Legal, regulatory and professional requirements, PPE, and infection control are largely the same throughout the UK. It is recommended that regardless of where you practice in the UK that you follow this guidance to ensure the safety of your patients, yourself, your staff, and the wider public. This will serve to ensure consistency of approach by the profession during this time. Your duties as a registrant means you will need to demonstrate how you have considered all aspects of this advice in relation to undertaking consultations with patients.

Your duties as a registrant means you will need to demonstrate how you have considered all aspects of this advice in relation to undertaking consultations with patients.

Our advice directs members to consider a number of key factors when undertaking decisions to see patients face-to-face or not. These factors include:

  • Legal, regulatory and professional responsibilities
  • Risk assessment of the working environment for which you are responsible
  • Infection prevention and control measures
  • Access to personal protective equipment
  • ‘Virtual first’ approaches
  • Patient risk assessment and clinical reasoning
  • Patient consent for treatment

Please also see our guidance covering how to apply these factors in practice.

Download the full guidance