Dear Parents and Carers
Further to the government’s announcement yesterday of the new National Lockdown, starting Thursday 5th November 2020, please read on to see my plans for how to move sessions forward and to keep you and your child safe.
With thanks. Elaine
What you need to do
As of Monday 2nd November, face masks will need to be worn by parents and carers who are coming to the Studio. Please wear a face mask for the duration of your time at Mendip Court, unless you are medically exempt or are removing your mask to speak to someone who lip reads.
If your child or young person is aged 12 or older, please ask them to wear a face mask too, unless they are exempt or talking to someone who lip reads. If your child is younger and you would like them to wear a face mask, that is totally fine by me, but is entirely your own decision as a family.
As therapist, I have now taken the decision to wear a mask in meetings and in sessions. As governing body guidance comes out this week, I expect there may be a requirement for me to wear a face shield too. If you would like me to wear a face shield anyway, as well as a mask, I am happy to do so, just let me know.
If you feel that me (or anyone else) wearing a mask will negatively affect therapy for your child or young person, please let me know in advance of your session and we can discuss it on a case by case basis.
There are numerous hand sanitiser dispensers around the building, please sanitise your hands on arrival and encourage your child or young person to do the same.
I have updated my COVID-19 risk assessment and will send it to you by email. Please read it and send me an email back with any questions and a statement saying you have read, understood and will follow the risk assessment.
Please also let me know any changes to your contact information.
If you are coming to the Studio and want to minimise your risk of contact with other people, please walk round the outside of the building (with the building on your left hand side) until you get to my windows (by the five bar gate). Tap on my window and I’ll let you in via the side door next to my room.
What I am doing to keep you and your child or young person safe
As well as moving to wearing PPE, I have updated my COVID-19 risk assessment with additional control measures. Here are some highlights.
Your child will be coming to a room that has been cleaned using medical grade cleaners between clients. There is a minimum of 20 minutes between clients to allow for cleaning and for the room to air through (the windows will be open during and between sessions, so bring a coat as it gets colder!). In addition to cleaning between each client, the room will be deep cleaned twice a week.
Your child now will only have access to their own personal play kit, sand tray and resources such as paint and clay, craft materials or other therapeutic resources that I put out just for them. Additional items they are used to having free access to in the room, can be requested, but depending on usage demand, may not be available. This means the room may well look a little different (please prepare them for this before you come to session).
If you would rather move to a tele-therapy style session carried out remotely over Zoom, I can arrange that very easily. I just need to know in advance of your session what you are comfortable doing. I will send everyone a Zoom pack, which contains my remote Zoom safeguarding policy, a Zoom contract and some information on how the session will run and what is available to do in sessions, other than talking or therapeutic interventions we may choose to do together. I’ve included a list of ideas and games your child or young person might like to do – playing games remotely does work… it’s just a little odd to start.
As mental health services are vital during lockdown, it is my intention to keep working with your child either remotely, or ideally face to face. As I write this, there is no current guidance on stopping access to medical appointments, which would include mental health services, so if you feel that face to face sessions are essential to your child, I will work with you to facilitate that wherever possible, even if things are a bit strange for a while. If you feel Zoom sessions are preferable, that is quite OK too. Either way we will stick to your current session time unless we decide differently together.