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What to Expect from Remote Services at Harding Physiotherapy 

Updated: 28/05/2020 
When should remote consultations be used? 
In line with guidance from our Governing Bodies (Physio First and CSP), remote consultations should be considered if; 
The Client or Therapist is self isolating 
The client or therapist has symptoms of possible or confirmed COVID-19 
The client is vulnerable (at high risk of COVID-19 infection) and their clinical need can be met remotely 
For clients who have concerns about going out 
What does a remote consultation offer the client? 
Remote consultations via online video conferencing (or telephone if the client cannot access Skype or Zoom for video conferencing) enables clients to continue to access non-urgent physiotherapy to manage their musculoskeletal pains or injury. Client’s can speak to an expert physiotherapist who will assess them fully within the limitations of remote consultation, providing appropriate self help management strategies and a suitable bespoke exercise plan via email (or post for those without email access) following the consultation. 
Preparing for your Remote Consultation 
If you contact the clinic to book an appointment, a remote consultation will be the method by which we carry out the first session. We will need your contact details, including a telephone number, as back up in case there is any technology issues on the day. Before the agreed appointment date, you will receive an email confirming the date and time of the remote appointment, along with details regarding how to set up for the session. For example, if using Zoom, this will come in the form of an email with a meeting invitation, with a link to the “meeting room.” Prior to the session you will need to install the program on your computer or tablet, and at the session time simply click the link to join. If you are new to video conferencing or unsure about how it works, please let us know and we can go through this with you in more detail before your remote appointment, to ensure you get the most out of your booked session. 
To get the most out of your remote appointment, we suggest you try to find a quiet space, where you won’t be interrupted by other household members or pets. Be aware that we may ask you to move around and demonstrate exercises, so you will need a space where you can do this and still remain in the screen for us to see. 
What to Expect from Your Remote Consultation? 
In many ways a remote consultation is the same as face to face. We will take the time to speak with you to get a full understanding of your pain or symptoms, the impact it is having on you and how it is affecting your daily life and interests. We will screen you for any potential warning signs that may indicate we should direct you to seek urgent medical attention, and also gather information which may help us to evaluate if you could be considered for a face to face appointment at a later date.  
Once we know more about you and your symptoms, we will carry out the parts of an objective assessment that are appropriate and that can be done remotely, this may involve you being asked to demonstrate specific movements or tasks for example. 
Once we have a good understanding of what could be causing your pain, we will explain it clearly to you, and give you a bespoke exercise plan, along with any self help advice and strategies that are appropriate for you. All information will also be emailed over to you, for you to refer back to and use to help you carry out what we have asked. The exercise program we use enables us to email it to you in a printable PDF format, but also with the option of accessing video demonstrations of the exercises so you can check exactly what you are being asked to do. 
We will discuss with you when a review might be suitable, and you can then book follow up sessions as you require, either before you complete your remote appointment, by emailing the clinic or calling 01487 843844.  
We are required by our Governing Body to review the most appropriate way of delivering your physiotherapy input for each and every session you have. This may mean that we mix and match between remote, face to face and socially distanced sessions, depending on progress, clinical need and preference. At each step this will be discussed, and we will aim to reach a collaborative, informed decision on the most appropriate next step for your individual case. 
As always, we encourage you to ask questions and are happy to answer these to help you recover and return to the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible. 
Important information to note 
Remote consultations are not suitable to be used as a substitute for accessing emergency medical care 
For clients who are unsure or who are less familiar with the online remote consultation technology we use (Skype and/or Zoom), we are happy to do a test call, to allow the client to try it out and check that the video and audio works before the consultation. 
Video consultations are securely encrypted, however, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that they have adequate anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on their equipment/devices. If patients are using a mobile phone, they must be aware that it can only be as secure as any other phone call on that mobile network. 
The use of remote consultation is voluntary; and client’s consent is implied by them accepting the invite and entering the consultation 
The consultation will not be digitally recorded without the client’s prior informed consent, but clinical outcomes from the consultation will be fully documented and stored on the patient record, as we normally do with face to face appointments, to meet the standards set by our governing body. 
A remote consultation will be treated as any other consultation, during which sensitive or confidential information is safeguarded at all times. Harding Physiotherapy will take all possible steps to reduce any risks to patient confidentiality. 
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