The Integrated Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, and Ministers across the UK, asking for the governments to provide clear guidelines during local lockdowns.
In recent weeks, it has become apparent that it may be necessary in the coming months for the government to introduce local lockdowns, often at short notice, in order to contain outbreaks of Covid-19.
Where such restrictions are necessary, the IHC has asked the government to provide clear guidance to workers on what they may, or may not do, during the period of lockdown. At present, the uncertainty and lack of uniformity means that therapists and practitioners, and other workers providing close contact services, do not know what is allowed, especially when measures are brought in at short notice. This could inadvertently result in rules being broken through ambiguity and lack of information.
The IHC has requested, therefore, that the government introduces a clear system covering the following items, so that when local lockdowns are introduced, complementary healthcare workers can readily access information through their local council for simple, clear answers.
close contact services allowed outside high risk zone around face? yes/no
close contact services allowed inside high risk zone around face? yes/no
providing close contact services in salons and clinics? yes/no
providing close contact services in the clients’ homes? yes/no
providing close contact services in dedicated rooms/spaces within practitioners own homes? yes/no
travel allowed for work purposes to points outside area of lockdown? yes/no
travel allowed for work purposes into a lockdown area? yes/no
providing close contact services to clinically vulnerable clients? yes/no
providing close contact services to clinically extremely vulnerable clients? yes/no
other services where social distancing can be maintained? yes/no
The IHC believes that a clear checklist such as above, which local councils could update as appropriate, would provide much needed clarity to help workers in this sector adhere to any restrictions, and contribute towards the effectiveness of local lockdowns.